CIT ‘ready and willing to help’ Novartis staff with re-training

CIT ‘ready and willing to help’ Novartis staff with re-training
Job losses at Novartis, Ringaskiddy, Co. Cork.Picture: Jim Coughlan.

The president of Cork Institute of Technology said that the institute is ready and willing to help if Novartis asks for help in re-training staff that are due to be let go.

Dr Barry O’Connor was speaking after it was revealed more than 300 people are to lose jobs at the Novartis plant in Ringaskiddy in the coming years.

Staff were called to a meeting at the firm’s plant on Wednesday morning at 8am and told there will be job losses in business support, administration, production, planning and testing.

The loss has been described as devastating by the Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin.

Speaking to The Echo, Dr O’Connor admitted it is worrying to see large companies letting so many people go in Cork.

He said CIT has worked with companies in the past in efforts to retrain, reskill or upskill staff in such scenarios.

“We have had good interactions with Novartis over the years and, if we’re asked, we would offer programmes like that,” added Dr O’Connor.

Dr Barry O'ConnorPhoto: Cathal Noonan
Dr Barry O'ConnorPhoto: Cathal Noonan

“We’ve worked with them on programmes before so if they came to us, we could develop programmes for them again in terms of retraining or reskilling.

“We would work with companies to try to develop new programmes for them and train people in different areas,” he explained.

Dr O’Connor explained that, because of CIT’s focus on the recognition of prior learning, such courses often do not take four years to complete.

He used CIT’s Naval Leadership and Management course, frequently taken by people leaving or moving up in the navy, as a prime example of this.

“People leave the navy or businesses with 20 years experience sometimes and it’s important to catalogue the skills they’ve developed and recognise that prior learning.

“We then developed courses around that to work with people over a few semesters rather than four or five years.”

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