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Circular Economy Skills Initiative (CESI) Receives Ministerial Seal of Approval

Circular Economy Skills Initiative (CESI) Receives Ministerial Seal of Approval

Training course for white goods repair technicians has 10 students and it’s supported by CIRCULÉIRE’s Innovation Fund

Students from Circular Economy Skills Initiative (CESI) had an important day on 25th January 2022, with the visit of Minister of State Ossian Smyth TD, who has responsibility for the Circular Economy. CESI is a training course for white goods repair technicians funded by CIRCULÉIRE’s 2020 Innovation Fund. CESI is a collaboration between CIRCULÉIRE Industry Member, WEEE Ireland, the Ibec White Goods Association (WGA), FIT (Fastrack to Information Technology) a technical training agency and the Louth and Meath Education and Training Board (LMETB).

“This is a great new initiative and will be instrumental in making the circular economy real for consumers and industry alike. Having qualified technicians available to undertake quality repairs gives confidence to users that repaired goods can be trusted and are great value. I wish this first cohort of trainees well in what promises to be a very rewarding career,” said Minister Smyth.

He was a guest at the FIT centre in Dunshaughlin, Co. Meath, to meet participants enrolled in the first Irish course of its kind in a decade. The CESI training course aims to combat a major national shortage in white goods repair technicians, producing enough qualified experts to extend the lives of fixable electrical appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers, and dryers.

Following the visit Minister Smyth also took to Twitter to share his congratulations:

The first cohort on this course began in November 2021 – it will run for over 26 weeks and then be followed by 12 weeks’ guaranteed work placement with leading white goods industry supporters of the programme. CESI is free of charge for trainees to participate.

“CIRCULÉIRE are proud to be part of CESI story. Capacity building and upskilling is key to accelerating Ireland’s transition to the circular economy. CIRCULÉIRE is delighted to support this industry-accredited and standards-based repair training programme which will transform the Irish White Goods’ repair sector”, said Dr Geraldine Brennan, CIRCULÉIRE’s Lead and Head of Circular Economy at Irish Manufacturing Research (IMR).

Leo Donovan, CEO of WEEE Ireland, one of  CIRCULÉIRE’s industry founding members, described the CESI initiative as “a great example of multi-stakeholder engagement working together to solve part of the e-waste challenge.”

“Qualified repair technicians are vital to ensuring more reuse, repair and refurbishment of white goods in Ireland to extend their life-cycle – in turn minimising waste and saving resources. WEEE Ireland and the WGA are proactive in meeting the challenges of the circular economy and engaging with the industry to support sectoral development of important initiatives”, added Donovan.

The CESI Innovation Project is supported by Beko, Belling, Blomberg, Bosch, Candy, Haier, Hoover, Electrolux, Fisher & Paykel, Flavel, Grundig, Hotpoint, Leisure, Indesit, Miele, Neff, Siemens and Whirlpool.

Last month, Minister Smyth launched Ireland’s first Whole of Government Circular Economy Strategy, which sets out a vision for Ireland’s transition to circularity; explaining the concept of the circular economy, describing what initiatives are already happening, what opportunities are available and how Government will drive the changes required.

CIRCULÉIRE’s Innovation Fund

CIRCULÉIRE is Ireland’s first cross-sectoral industry-led innovation network dedicated to accelerating the net-zero carbon circular economy and it has a ring-fenced innovation fund dedicated to catalysing and implementing circular economy innovation demonstration projects (see here for an overview of awardees to date).

CIRCULÉIRE’s overarching objective between 2020-2022 is to source, test, finance, and scale, circular manufacturing systems, supply chains and circular business models to deliver significant reductions in both CO2 emissions and waste across our Industry Membership over the programmes’ lifespan.


CIRCULÉIRE is a public-private partnership co-created by Irish Manufacturing Research (IMR) and three strategic partners: the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications (DECC), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and EIT Climate-KIC. Together with industry partners CIRCULÉIRE aims to assist manufacturers and their supply chains to switch from linear to circular business models.

Read more about CIRCULÉIRE here.

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