Wednesday, 19 December 2018
Department of Education and Skills
211. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the extent to which apprenticeships are available in all areas throughout the country at present; the uptake of such places; the extent to which the places available meets the demand; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53843/18]
Apprenticeship is a demand driven educational and training programme, which aims to develop the skills of an apprentice in order to meet the needs of industry and the labour market. Consequently, the number of apprentices being registered is determined by employers within each sector. My Department is committed to supporting the increased registration of apprentices and the expansion of the apprenticeship model into new sectors of the economy. The 2019 budget allocation for apprenticeship training is €142m which represents an increase of over 16% on the 2018 allocation of €122m.
This Government is committed to expanding the apprenticeship model into new sectors of the economy. Arising from two calls for apprenticeship proposals issued by the Apprenticeship Council in 2015 and 2017, 17 new apprenticeships have now been developed in a range of new occupations, including financial services, engineering, ICT, hospitality, logistics and accounting. Further new apprenticeships will get underway throughout 2019 in a variety of sectors including construction, engineering, horticulture and agriculture. These new programmes, once developed, will add to and complement the range of apprenticeships currently on offer in developing the skill needs of our economy. All of these apprenticeships are national programmes that can be delivered on a nationwide basis.
As well as developments in new apprenticeships 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.
In addition, education and training providers are also engaging positively with the Regional Skills Fora in order to address skills deficits in their regions. This engagement informs the planning for education and training programmes, including apprenticeship.
Apprenticeships have a balanced regional spread and the delivery of Action Plan to Expand Apprenticeship and Traineeship will bring real opportunities for learners and employers throughout the country.