Passion for the trade of Carpentry and Joinery

John G Sisk  Training Centre / Joinery Works

The Sisk Training Centre was set up over 40 years ago by John G Sisk who had a passion for the trade of Carpentry and Joinery and realised the importance of developing our own talented craftsmen and future foremen.

Many of our current foremen/site agents commenced their training at the Centre and their loyalty and commitment to the Company is a true measure of the success of their training.

The Centre enjoys a positive reputation throughout the industry and is well regarded amongst the local community, educators, design consultants, clients and others.

This Centre is unique as it is the only family owned stand-alone Training Centre of its kind in Ireland, steeped in the company’s history and with a goal of Delivering Excellence, in line with the rest of Sisk.

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Community engagement

Over the years the centre has played a significant role in community engagement in areas such as supporting and encouraging young people to take up a career choice in the construction industry and the current apprentices go out to local schools and colleges to tell their stories to the next generation coming up with a view to encouraging them to make a positive choice into the construction industry.

During its formative years, the Centre benefited from Government training grants but these grants are no longer available and the Centre has sought to become more self-sufficient working for many of the current live Sisk projects in Ireland and the UK.

The Sisk family have a great affinity for the Centre and are hugely supportive of its core training objectives.

Services provided by Centre

The Centre is substantially supported by our Eastern Region contracts and annual workload would typically comprise of all types of bespoke joinery & cabinetry works making this a “Training Centre of Excellence”.

In addition to providing a regular joinery supply service, the Centre also carries out the following additional services:

• Selection and recruitment of apprentices on a yearly basis.

• Promotion and selection of future trainee foreman for Sisk & the greater industry with some past apprentices going on to teach or work with other contractors, or indeed to owning their own business and working abroad at senior level in the industry.

• Participation of apprentices in the annual National & World Skills Competition. We have enjoyed a good deal of success down through the years and this has a huge benefit for the individuals, the Company and the industry.

• Preparation of joinery tenders and the sourcing of external work to help support the Centre.

• Provision of back up service to our construction sites, late call on materials near handover, including more recently with our Sisk projects in the UK.

• Provision of assistance to site management teams with joinery issues and to resolve with the most suitable solution.

• Sourcing of information for site management, for example, queries on details, product failure etc.

• Forging strong relationship with suppliers on new products and industry trends. Good buying power for quality based FSC hardwoods, softwoods, sheet materials also benefit the Company.

• Promotion of the Christmas Toy making initiative which is greatly appreciated by people in need. This community engagement is over 40 years in existence with huge rewards to all involved.

Making connections

The Manager at the Centre is an active member of the CIF Manpower, Education and Training Committee reporting to the executive body of the CIF which represents the Industry on apprenticeship issues, numbers, changes in syllabus etc. This group also reports to SOLAS and other government bodies.4

We are also active members on the Regional Skills Board which is a collaborative approach with all stakeholders to get people off the live register and back working in full time job employment.

Regional Skills West with GMIT have recently established the Irish Wood and Furniture Manufacturing Network – IWFM Network, through a strong group of industry partners including the Sisk Joinery  Centre, to promote the wood industry.

Sisk, through the Training Centre is supporting the launch of Irelands’ first certified training course for Formwork and Steel Fixing.

The launch of these courses will help the industry supply chain shortage which is becoming more evident as work picks up. Bringing people back into the industry is vital in the long term for its sustainability and its competitiveness.

Links to education

Sisk Training Centre sponsors and supports the TechnoTeachers Association to encourage potential school students to enter our industry.

Local school engagement with students – visit schools to promote the trade route as a career path and also encourage schools to visit our training centre to see first-hand a live workshop with apprentices at work. These workshops visits are essential for students to appreciate and value the craft of the woodworker.

We remain true to the guiding principles of the founder, John Sisk, who in 1859 wrote “Building and contracting is in essence about people, their skills, their training and their motivation”