Longford is a centre of excellence in terms of industry, and that’s according to our Taoiseach, Enda Kenny who was here earlier this week.
Mr Kenny was in Longford on Monday and visited Abbott and Cameron both of which are based in Longford town. He also said that companies like Abbott and Cameron were “examples of what Longford has to offer as a business location”.
“I was absolutely enthusiastic about the quality and range of skills I found in the workforces in both companies,” he said, adding that Cameron was “another centre of excellence” in the oil and gas business. “Do I hear about this? No, I do not; we should hear more about what appears to me is Longford’s centre for global excellence. The research, quality and innovation at Abbott was astounding and I am absolutely impressed with the Traditional Skills course at the EDI Centre. I think it is excellent so many people are given the opportunity to do quality courses in restorative work - here in Longford - in relation to listed and heritage buildings throughout the country, and it is about the quality of the course and the imagination that goes into it.”
Mr Kenny went on to say that he was left with a lasting impression of what he had seen in Longford during his visit and pointed to the “enthusiastic, educated and skilled workforce” that he had met in the county. “There is an opportunity for everyone in this country to contribute to the building of Ireland for the future and my job is to sort out the public finances,” he added. “We will get this country back to work, and this is a great day for Longford.”
The Traditional Skills course has been validated by a Scottish Education Authority because it cannot be validated in Ireland, something, the Taoiseach said was “extraordinary”. “Eighteen graduates of the course are here and they are receiving a Scottish qualification because we don’t have accreditation in this county,” said the EDI Centre’s Pat Kelleher. “This needs to be addressed and also with the inclusion of add on courses, we could end up with a very skilled workforce here in Longford.” In conclusion, the Taoiseach added, “I find it extraordinary that with the skills we have here in Longford that we don’t have a validation course for the excellence that is here”.