Written answers

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Department of Education and Skills

Apprenticeship Programmes

Photo of Thomas ByrneThomas Byrne (Meath East, Fianna Fail)
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198. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the additional measures taken to date to support apprentices that have lost an employer as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic; if specific measures are being introduced to support the apprenticeships which are close to completion in these circumstances; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5860/20]

Photo of John HalliganJohn Halligan (Waterford, Independent)
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During the months of March, April and May 2020 inclusive, apprentices who have been prevented in engaging in their on-the-job or off-the-job training by the Covid-19 restrictions will not have their apprenticeship temporarily or otherwise suspended. The national restrictions will not affect apprentices’ record of time-served, where relevant. SOLAS will again review this approach with its key stakeholders at the end of May 2020.

In addition, Department is actively working with SOLAS and the education and training providers to put in place alternative learning and assessment solutions for apprentices while maintaining the quality and integrity of the apprenticeship programme. 

It is intended that the majority of craft apprentices who were close to completing an off-the-job phase of training will be offered an opportunity to complete outstanding theory assessments before the end of June.  An initial communication on this issued to relevant craft apprentices and employers on the 15th May, 2020.

SOLAS are also providing updates for apprentices in regards to the Covid-19 situation on the apprenticeship website at www.apprenticeship.ieand also on Twitter @apprenticesirl.  A link to information on employment supports is also available from the site as well as on www.welfare.ie

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