Written answers

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Department of Education and Skills

Apprenticeship Programmes

Photo of Thomas ByrneThomas Byrne (Meath East, Fianna Fail)
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76. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills his plans for developing apprenticeship opportunities for persons with disabilities. [1898/17]

Photo of John HalliganJohn Halligan (Waterford, Independent)
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As the Deputy is aware, in order to be registered as an apprentice by SOLAS, a person must be employed by an approved employer. Recruitment to apprenticeship is therefore driven by employers rather than by SOLAS or by education and training providers.

Currently the Apprenticeship Council is overseeing the expansion of the apprenticeship system into a range of new areas, following a call for proposals from employers and education and training providers. In recent months, we have seen the first of these new apprenticeships getting underway with the Insurance Practitioner Apprenticeship launching in September 2016 and the Industrial Electrical Engineer Apprenticeship commencing in November 2016.

Over the coming months further new apprenticeships will get underway in occupations such as international financial services, accounting and new craft and services areas. Once a number of these new apprenticeships have commenced and SOLAS has assessed the providers’ experience with regard to recruitment, they will commission a review on pathways to participation in apprenticeship, including participation of people with a disability. The review will identify any potential barriers that may exist  in the system and, if necessary, will make recommendations for the future.

My Department will continue to engage with education and training providers to contribute to the implementation of the Comprehensive Employment Strategy to support people with a disability in gaining and sustaining employment.


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