Prometric Invests Nearly €1 Million in DCU Assessment Research
U.S.-based testing company Prometric, which has invested more than €75 million in Ireland over 10 years of operation, was joined today by Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton, TD, Minister for Business & Employment, Ged Nash TD, Dublin City University (DCU) and IDA Ireland (IDA) for joint announcements covering a three-year research partnership with DCU, valued at almost €1million and 40 new jobs for Dundalk. In all, Prometric will invest more than €3.5 million to expand its County Louth presence and partner with DCU. This project is supported by the Department of Jobs through IDA Ireland.
Speaking at the briefing announcement, Minister Bruton said: “Employment is growing, and the live register is falling in all regions of the country – however progress is happening faster in some regions than in others. That is why we are putting in place our regional Action Plans for Jobs, in order to accelerate jobs growth in every region of the country. Today’s announcement that leading US testing company Prometric is creating 40 extra jobs in Dundalk and creating a research partnership with DCU as part of a €3.5 million investment, is a great boost for the North East and a further example of what is possible in towns right across the country. I wish Michael and his team every success”.
Professor Brian MacCraith, President of Dublin City University and Prometric CEO Michael Brannick detailed the nearly €1 million research programme investment to establish DCU’s Centre for Assessment Research in Education (CARE) and develop test types that can better assess the preparedness of Irish students at all levels of education in the areas of critical thinking and skills assessment, in addition to knowledge recall. The research conducted through CARE is expected to influence Irish education and strengthen Ireland’s workforce, particularly for attracting multi-national employers and foreign direct investment. Three jobs will be created on the DCU campus. The programme will be led by the Prometric Chair of Assessment, serving as director of the CARE Centre. One post-doctoral student and one Ph.D. student will be hired in research roles.
Professor Brian MacCraith, President of Dublin City University said, “It has been long recognised that more sophisticated, innovative assessment systems are required at all levels in education and employment. If we wish to encourage our students to be creative problem-solvers ready to face the challenges of our globalised, knowledge-based modern world, we must embrace new, cutting-edge methodologies such as those offered by Prometric. A major systemic difficulty in Ireland has been the lack of any centre of expertise in assessment. Our partnership with Prometric will allow DCU to establish a national resource to conduct research and develop best practice in education and job skills assessment, potentially having a transformative impact on the quality of teaching, learning and jobs growth for generations to come.”
In Dundalk, Prometric’s 40 new jobs will diversify and expand its operation, adding finance and customer service functions to its test development, technology, operations and human resources teams. The expansion includes €550,000 in capital expenditure and €2 million in workforce investment. When all hiring is complete, the company expects to have 168 employees in Ireland. Prometric’s two corporate sites are located in Dundalk and Dublin, with 147 jobs expected to be the total for its County Louth-based Global Operations Centre.
“Prometric’s long-term commitment in Ireland is evidenced by the lasting relationships we have created, and we are realizing a return on our investments in the form of quality and efficiency improvement gains,” said Prometric CEO Michael Brannick. “Our partnership with DCU represents an opportunity to help Ireland attract major global employers for the next decade by strengthening the talent already in the workforce and the students preparing for careers that require trusted licenses and certifications. The bonds we have created with our clients have made Ireland’s roads safer, medical care more prepared to save lives, energy more sustainable to support economic growth, and fostered greater trust in the financial system.”
Prometric has delivered more than 1.5 million tests in Ireland on behalf of its clients, including the Road Safety Authority (RSA), Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council (PHECC), Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), Chartered Accountants Ireland (CAI), the Medical Council and international clients with testing offered in Ireland, such as the European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO).
Prometric’s Dundalk team serves as a major strategic global operation, developing innovative new exams types and best-in-class test delivery for millions of people every year who require licenses, certifications and other credentials to qualify for jobs, such as physicians, teachers or commercial drivers, as well as university admissions, such as medical and business schools.
Minister Nash said, “Prometric’s announcement today is fantastic news for Dundalk and Co Louth in general and a tangible demonstration of its commitment to the county and the calibre of workforce available to it. In the past four years, the company’s operations in Dundalk have grown rapidly and news today that a further 40 jobs are being created, alongside an important partnership with DCU, will I hope bring further growth and opportunity for the company and the skilled workforce of the north-east.”
Welcoming the announcement Martin Shanahan CEO, IDA Ireland said: “Prometric’s operation in Dundalk continues to go from strength to strength, demonstrating the availability of talent in the North –East region. The Dundalk centre has the sole responsibility for delivering Prometric’s business services to its European customers. It is encouraging to see the company complementing its Irish operation by investing in research in partnership with DCU. The tests that will be developed there have the potential to create even more jobs in Dundalk.”