South West College has opened the doors to a new £9m technology and skills centre in Enniskillen which it believes will give Co Fermanagh a head start as the local economy finally emerges from recession.
The college, which has four campuses in Cookstown, Dungannon, Enniskillen and Omagh, said the new building would prove to be a valuable hub for the continued development of Co Fermanagh.
The 62,500 square-foot centre at Killyhelvin Industrial Estate is aimed at employers and students keen to acquire skills that will boost economic development and employment opportunities.
Joe Martin, chairman of the board of Governors at South West College said: "This opening marks a most important milestone in the development of Further Education in Fermanagh.
"I am confident that this Centre will open up a wide range of vocational opportunities for young people and that it will make a major contribution to the local economy."
Opening the facility, Minister for Employment and Learning, Sir Reg Empey said he was determined Northern Ireland's economy would not be hampered by a lack of skilled people in future.
"Collaboration, where employers, government and the colleges are all at the table, is the key to success in recovery from a recession. This new building establishes a modern skills training facility for everyone in Fermanagh and is a landmark for the South West College," he said.
The College, which has more than 18,500 students enrolled, said it has a strong tradition of working with local employers, the unemployed, local Jobs and Benefits offices, organisations such as Invest Northern Ireland and the District Councils - including Fermanagh District council - to strive to meet the training needs of the local community.
It said the centre would help provide training to employees of new developments in Fermanagh such as the new hospital, the Waterways Ireland headquarters and the tourism and hospitality sector.