Written answers

Thursday, 8 July 2021

Department of Education and Skills

Apprenticeship Programmes

Photo of Joe CareyJoe Carey (Clare, Fine Gael)
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12. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the steps he will take to ensure a greater regional aspect to the newly proposed national apprentice office among the new places being offered between now and 2025; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36624/21]

Photo of Niall CollinsNiall Collins (Limerick County, Fianna Fail)
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Apprenticeship is an employer driven demand led educational and training programme which aims to ensure that qualified apprentices are fully skilled to act in an independent capacity in their respective industries. While apprenticeships are national programmes, it is the pattern of employer recruitment of apprentices that determines the availability of individual apprentice opportunities.

Apprenticeships are available in many sectors that have a strong regional presence such as manufacturing, hospitality, construction, and retail. The continued expansion of the apprenticeship system into new sectors of the economy such as agriculture and horticulture, together with the opportunity of online and blended learning, will bring real opportunities for learners and employers throughout the country.

Objectives such as balanced regional development will inform the manner in which the education and training system can support employers in planning and addressing their skills requirements. This is why a survey undertaken by the Regional Skills Fora Managers of 340 SMEs across the country formed part of the consultation process for the Action Plan for Apprenticeship 2021.

Under the Action Plan for Apprenticeship, the new National Apprenticeship Office will drive promotional activities to heighten public awareness and that of employers of the range of apprenticeship offerings throughout the country. Visibility of programmes will be supported through the national Generation Apprenticeship campaign and continued engagement with regional vocational skills showcases. The Regional Skills Fora, with their in-depth knowledge of the local and regional landscape, will support the National Apprenticeship Office to ensure that there is a strong regional focus to the future development of apprenticeships. Education and Training Boards, Institutes of Technology and Technological Universities are spread throughout the country and play a very important role in ensuring apprenticeship provision has a strong regional dimension.

Under the Action Plan for Apprenticeship prospective apprentices from all geographical locations will be able to find out information about apprenticeship opportunities and will receive more support and clearer communication throughout their entire learning journey.


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