Thursday, 20 May 2021
Department of Education and Skills
The PLC Pathways to Apprenticeship Programme aims to provide opportunities for learners to gain experience in areas where they are considering undertaking an apprenticeship. In general, programmes run for between 8 and 12 months and lead to qualifications at QQI level 5. Initial planning data indicates that over 800 learners will participate in pre-apprenticeship programmes in 2021. The number of learners who completed craft related pre-apprenticeships increased from 34 in 2018 to 116 in 2020.
The Technological University Dublin Access to Apprenticeship programme is a 12 week programme which aims to support individuals who have experienced particularly severe social or economic barriers to access craft apprenticeship roles. The programme is funded jointly by employers, the Social Innovation Fund Ireland and the Higher Education Authority. Since 2018, 63 young people including eight women have secured a craft apprenticeship position through the programme.
I recently launched the Action Plan for Apprenticeship which sets out a five year plan which will make apprenticeship visible and available for all learners. Under the Action Plan the impacts of, and outcomes from, pre-apprenticeship programmes, the TU Dublin Access to Apprenticeship programme and other interventions across the sector such as apprentice bursaries will be examined to provide an evidence base for best practice and future interventions.
This also includes ensuring that information on access to apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship courses is more readily available, that this information is clearly linked to apprenticeships and that progression routes into and from apprenticeship will be clearly identified.
I am confident that this approach will help ensure that pre-apprenticeship courses are effective in opening up opportunity in apprenticeships to a wider range of possible participants.