Ireland is set to train a new generation of repair technicians to prevent thousands of tonnes of electrical appliances going to waste. An industry-wide drive to extend the lives of fixable white goods has been fast-tracked to combat a major shortage of electrical repair experts – whose average age is now 59.
The new ‘Circular Economy Skills Initiative’ course aims to produce enough experts to ensure thousands of washing machines, fridges and dishwashers are given a new lease of life in homes and businesses across the country. WEEE Ireland, the White Goods Association and technical training agency FIT (Fast Track to IT) joined forces to create the innovative curriculum and career pathway.
The free training course will be run with the support of Louth Meath Education and Training Board (LMETB) in a state-of-the-art centre in Dunshaughlin, Co Meath. Up to 20 trainees will complete the initial pilot 26-week programme, followed by 12 weeks’ guaranteed work placement with leading white goods industry supporters of the programme. “This new course is a fantastic solution to some of the circular economy challenges WEEE Ireland members face,” said WEEE Ireland CEO, Leo Donovan. In 2020, WEEE Ireland recycled over 470,000 white goods appliances – but no Irish training programme for the next generation of repair technicians has been available for a decade.
FIT is committed to rolling out further programmes responding to emerging Circular Economy skills needs in collaboration with Education and Training Boards (ETB) and the industry in Ireland to address the growing need for such expertise.
Last year, WEEE Ireland also partnered with the White Goods Association to promote repair of electrical appliances on RepairMyStuff.ie, which connects consumers with over 800 professionals in Ireland able to repair everything from watches to washing machines and as well as toys, textiles, furniture and more. The Circular Economy Skills Initiative course is free of
charge and those interested in participating can apply at: https://fit.ie/circular-economy-skills-initiative/. Full driving licence is
required by the completion of training.