Written answers

Thursday, 8 July 2021

Department of Education and Skills

Apprenticeship Programmes

Photo of Christopher O'SullivanChristopher O'Sullivan (Cork South West, Fianna Fail)
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19. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the status of the apprenticeship incentivisation scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36850/21]

Photo of Niall CollinsNiall Collins (Limerick County, Fianna Fail)
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The Apprenticeship Incentivisation Scheme comprises a €2,000 payment when employers register a new apprentice, followed by an additional €1,000 payment one year later where that apprentice is retained. The intention of the scheme is to ensure that apprenticeship will play a key part in supporting economic recovery following COVID-19.

The Scheme was initially approved under the July Jobs Stimulus for employers registering apprentices after the 1stMarch 2020. It had been anticipated that the initial duration and subsequent expansion of the Scheme to mid-2021 would cover the re-opening period. However this has not transpired meaning that employers have not had the opportunity to avail of the benefits of the Scheme to the extent envisaged during the re-opening phase.

I have provided for the extension of the scheme on two occasions and the scheme will now include all apprentices registered to the end of this year. Employers are sent an electronic application form once they have registered an apprentice.As of 1stJuly employers will be requested to confirm that they have advertised the apprentice role on www.apprenticeshipjobs.ie or else provide a rationale why they have not advertised the post.

The scheme has supported a significant recovery of apprentice registrations in 2020 and into 2021 and has enabled apprentice registrations to remain on a par with registrations for 2019. By end May 2021 there were 2,296 new registrations compared to 1,493 at end May 2020 and 2,329 by end May 2019.

Since the launch of the Scheme, payments in respect of 4,307 apprentice registrations have been made to date with a current spend of €8.614m.

The establishment, funding and success of the scheme is a strong demonstration of my and the Government's commitment to the development and growth of apprenticeship in Ireland, which will be sustained and intensified through the implementation of the Action Plan on Apprenticeship.


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