Written answers

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment

FÁS Training Programmes

9:00 pm

Photo of Willie PenroseWillie Penrose (Longford-Westmeath, Labour)
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Question 115: To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment if, in the context of correspondence furnished to her Department (details supplied), she will take steps to permit such apprentices who fail at the final hurdle to be given special assistance to enable them to qualify especially when they have passed all theoretical and practical exams up to that point; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [16868/09]

Photo of Mary CoughlanMary Coughlan (Tánaiste; Minister, Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment; Donegal South West, Fianna Fail)
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The situation pertaining to electrical apprentices is governed by the Standards Based Apprenticeship System, a standard based system of training and education for apprentices leading to the award of an Advanced Craft Certificate; this is the recognised award nationally and internationally for qualified Craftpersons. The Advanced Craft Certificate qualification is awarded to apprentices when they have met the following criteria:

Successfully completed all on-the-job and off-the-job phases and have reached the minimum qualifying standard in all modular and competency based assessment.

Completed a minimum of 12 weeks in employment as an apprentice in phase 7.

Completed a minimum of 4 years from the date of registration in employment as an apprentice for the specified trade.

Apprentices are given three opportunities to reach the minimum standard to qualify as an apprentice. Apprentices who fail to reach the minimum standard after 3 attempts at a modular assessment will have their apprenticeship automatically terminated. Apprentices are permitted to appeal the termination of their apprenticeship and where the appeal is granted the apprentices are permitted to undertake a fourth and final attempt. Apprentices who fail to reach the minimum standard at the fourth and final attempt will receive confirmation of the termination of their apprenticeship. FÁS is currently examining a proposal for the introduction of a final appeal mechanism for apprentices who have failed the final attempt in their apprenticeship modular assessments.

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