THE man behind a proposed training centre on the city’s northside says he hopes to start the project in the next year.
Corbally man Ray O’Halloran has been seeking to build a centre on land he owns beside the Bays complex in Moyross for the past five years.
Having won planning permission from Limerick City Council following a 2008 application, the project hit delays.
But this week, the Halmac Properties consortium has sought to extend the planning permission for five more years.
Under the proposals, a 20,000 square foot building will be constructed.
It will be divided into seven two-storey training units, employing seven people, and serving 200 youths who have left school early.
Speaking to the Limerick Leader, Mr O’Halloran says he hopes the project will get under way shortly - with the building phase expected to give work to 20 construction workers.
Nothing that Limerick has one of the highest unemployment rates in Ireland, Mr O’Halloran said: “Now, more than ever training is needed, and Moyross is one of the real blackspots.”
Mr O’Halloran, who runs Speedline Engineering, will use a system based on training youths in deprived parts of Glasgow.
His centre will offer a number of different courses from tiling to construction work.
Mr O’Halloran believes the training systems in place fail youngsters who do not excel at what they are offered first.
“If a child says he does not like tiling, which he is within his rights to do, he is let go: his job is gone. So what we are doing is giving them a chance in different areas,” he explained.
Mr O’Halloran called for widespread support.