The first graduates in the Geo-Drilling Apprenticeship programme, from the classes of 2021 and 2022, were awarded their Higher Certificates in Science by South East Technological University (SETU) at its Carlow campus recently. The Geo-Drilling Apprenticeship, launched in late 2019, is designed to provide a QQI Level 6 qualification necessary for the very skilled and exacting work carried out by drillers in gathering data and information on the subsurface. Information gathered is a crucial foundation for the development of groundwater, mineral, construction, energy, and infrastructure projects.
The programme is an employer-lead apprenticeship, overseen by a Steering Committee representing industry, state, semi-state, regulatory, trade union, professional organisations, and third level bodies, including Geoscience Ireland (GI), Geological Survey Ireland, the Health and Safety Authority, SIPTU, Uisce Éireann, Transport Infrastructure Ireland, the National Federation of Group Water Schemes, Engineers Ireland Geotechnical Society, the International Association of Hydrogeologists, the Irish Mining & Quarrying Society, the Institute of Geologists of Ireland, and the Irish Association for Economic Geology. Several drilling companies are represented, including Geoscience Ireland members Irish Drilling, Priority Drilling, Causeway Geotech, Geo Drilling Solutions, and QME. Other companies on the Steering Committee are (Boliden) Tara Mines, Fogarty Drilling and IGSL.
The photo shows the Apprentices present at the Conferring Ceremony and includes SETU and GI staff.