Athlone Institute of Technology’s Special Purpose Award (SPA) in Construction Management has been shortlisted for the Irish Construction Excellence (ICE) Awards in the category of best ‘Third Level Course – Postgraduate or CPD’. The ICE Awards recognise and celebrate excellence in the Irish contracting sector in areas such as Innovation in Construction, Public or Heritage, Commercial, Residential, Healthcare and Academic.

Developed in close consultation with the construction industry, the SPA in Construction Management responds directly to identified skills gaps in the modern construction industry. The programme focusses on contemporary challenges such as the implementation of lean management processes, construction economics and proficiency in Building Information Modelling (BIM) technology and is delivered using a blended learning format.

The delivery model for the course was developed to ensure that the students could upskill without negatively impacting their work/life balance. This is achieved by mixing online lectures with traditional classroom-based lectures which are delivered by a team with extensive industry experience. The SPA in Construction Management is offered via the Springboard+ funding mechanism, enabling a wide range of individuals to upskill without the burden of excessive cost.

Commenting on the calibre of this year’s shortlist, ICE Awards Director Colin Walsh said: “It has been another strong year for Irish construction and we’re witnessing continued industry growth. The ICE Awards are an excellent opportunity to take stock and applaud the achievements in the public and private sectors. The standard was exceptionally high this year and the shortlist reflects this. The future’s looking bright too, with AECOM’s latest figures predicting a 20% growth in the industry in 2019. It’s an exciting time to work in construction in Ireland.”

At the height of the Celtic Tiger, 220,000 people were employed in Ireland’s construction sector, a number that fell by more than 150,000 during the recession. Since its lowest point in 2013, the construction industry has made a significant recovery with the 134,000 people once again employed in construction jobs. The sector has entered a period of significant growth with increased demand for the skills and talents of construction workers.

“During the recession, more than 100,000 construction workers emigrated, which has made it extremely difficult for employers to source staff. The industry is crying out for civil engineering and quantity surveying graduates, if you’re considering a career in these lucrative areas, you’ll be almost guaranteed a job,” John Costello, Midlands Regional Skills Manager, said.

Five other courses have been shortlisted in the ‘Third Level Course – Postgraduate of CPD’ category, including Trinity College Dublin’s Diploma in Applied Building Repair and Conservation, Technological University Dublin’s Postgraduate Building Information Modelling and Management suite, IT Sligo’s Master of Science in Project Management and IT Tralee’s Building Information Modelling (BIM) with Revit. Overall winners will be announced on Friday 29th March in the Round Room of the Mansion House.

Athlone Institute of Technology’s Department of Civil Engineering and Trades offers a range of CAO programmes suited to graduates considering a career in the construction industry. Courses, including Civil Engineering and Quantity Surveying, are delivered by committed, highly qualified staff with significant industry experience and a reputation for excellence in research. Awarded Sunday Times Institute of Technology of the Year 2018, AIT is currently first nationally of all HEIs in the league table comprising of Irish Universities and IoT’s for student satisfaction and first across the technological higher education sector for research.

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