Written answers

Thursday, 6 May 2021

Department of Education and Skills

Apprenticeship Programmes

Photo of Louise O'ReillyLouise O'Reilly (Dublin Fingal, Sinn Fein)
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146. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the reason the access to apprenticeship course run through Technological University Dublin (details supplied) which enables students to experience different trades in order to find their preferred trade, has a maximum income ceiling for the parents of applicants; if this will be removed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23414/21]

Photo of Niall CollinsNiall Collins (Limerick County, Fianna Fail)
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The TU Dublin Access to Apprenticeship programme is an innovative close-to-the-labour market employability programme which is specifically set up to support young men and women aged 16 to 24 from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds to secure craft apprenticeship positions. As such, in addition to standard academic requirements for entry to an apprenticeship, eligibility criteria are in place to ensure that the programme reaches its target population. Applicants must therefore meet a minimum of three of the following criteria:

- Family income under €45,790.

- Parents in receipt of a means tested social welfare payment.

- Parents or applicant in receipt of a medical card.

- Attended a DEIS School.

- Come from an area of designated disadvantage.

- Parents have not attended higher education.

- Have been in the care of the State.

An interim review of the programme by Quality Matters, which was published in September 2020 did not recommend any changes to the eligibility criteria. The final evaluation report, which will cover the period from January 2019 to April 2021, will examine opportunities and challenges for the programme in greater detail.

The Further Education sector provides a range of pre-apprenticeship programmes for learners who wish to undertake a short course in subject areas relevant to apprenticeship to assess their interest and aptitude for apprenticeship careers. These may be accessed at www.fetchcourses.ie.

Under the Action Plan for Apprenticeship 2021-2025, the impacts of and outcomes from the TU Dublin Access to Apprenticeship programme, pre apprenticeship programmes and other interventions across the sector such as apprentice bursaries will be examined to provide an evidence base for best practice and future interventions.


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