On the 14th of November 2022 the Irish Mining and Quarry Society held an award ceremony for the Geo Drilling Apprentices who excelled in their course in South East Technological University.
Minister for Business, Employment and Retail, Minister Damien English launched the course in November 2019 at Tara Mines and was guest of honor on the 14th November 2022 once again at Tara Mines who hosted the event. Minister English was delighted to see the graduates complete their course to such high standards and presented the graduates along with President of the IMQS, Nicola Nixon, with a silver medal in recognition of their hard work .
The four Graduates to receive the award from the IMQS were:
Year 1 – Ger Cott from Geoscience Ireland
Year 1 – Darren Finney from Tara Mines
Year 2 – Alan Watters from Tara Mines
Year 2 – Jack Dardis from Tara Mines
The apprentices come from diverse industry backgrounds. The first class of apprentices was drawn from drilling companies who conduct operations on the surface and underground. These drilling companies offer a diverse range of services, ranging from site investigation for construction projects, conducting mineral exploration drilling programmes, water well drilling, quarry drilling and underground drilling in mining operations.
The Geo Drilling Apprenticeship is a two-year programme combining work experience with academic study. Trainees will work with employers for 41 weeks and attend classes 4 days a week for 11 weeks each year. On successful completion of this apprenticeship the apprentice is awarded a Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) Level 6 Higher Certificate in Science in Geo Drilling.