Written answers

Thursday, 29 March 2018

Department of Education and Skills

Apprenticeship Programmes

Photo of Tony McLoughlinTony McLoughlin (Sligo-Leitrim, Fine Gael)
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61. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the status of the implementation of the apprenticeship and traineeship plan; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14363/18]

Photo of John HalliganJohn Halligan (Waterford, Independent)
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The Action Plan to Expand Apprenticeship and Traineeship in Ireland 2016-2020 sets out a series of detailed actions and annual targets on how the expansion commitments in the area set out in the Action Plan for Education will be met.  Over the lifetime of the plan we will see 50,000 learners register on apprenticeship and traineeship programmes. This represents a more than doubling of activity by 2020. 

This Government  is committed to expanding the apprenticeship model into new sectors of the economy. To date, 11 new apprenticeship programmes have been developed, following the Apprenticeship Council’s first call for proposals in 2015. These new programmes span a variety of sectors ranging from financial services, ICT to hospitality. Further new apprenticeships are to be submitted to Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) for validation shortly and, subject to successful validation, will get underway in 2018. In addition, a key commitment in our plan for last year was to issue a second call for apprenticeship proposals to refresh the pipeline of apprenticeship proposals established through the first call. Arising from our second call a further 26 new programmes have now been approved for further development into national apprenticeships in various sectors including construction, engineering, horticulture and agriculture.

As well as developments in new apprenticeships, as the employment and economic situation continues to improve, we have seen strong growth in registrations across the craft trades nationally during 2017 with 4,508 at year end, which represents a 20% increase on 2016.

The Government is also prioritising the expansion of traineeship offerings. At the end of 2017, an additional eight new traineeships had been developed in areas such as hospitality, engineering and animation. These new programmes will complement the existing programmes on offer. The programmes have been designed by ETBs working in collaboration with employers to meet identified skill needs. In addition, we have broadened the eligibility criteria on participation to include school leavers, older learners and people in employment.

A new Five-Step Guide to traineeship has been developed which is aimed at employers seeking practical information on how to develop a traineeship within their company.  The guide provides practical information on what a traineeship is; how employers and prospective trainees can access traineeship programmes; information on current traineeship opportunities, and the five-step process to developing a new traineeship.


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