Tuesday, 2 November 2021
Department of Education and Skills
As part of the Action Plan for Apprenticeship 2021-2025 I committed to assessing the potential for cross-border apprenticeship programmes to enhance Ireland’s ability to respond to skills needs as an all-island economy by the end of Q1 2022. Ireland operates as a small open economy and the ability of our graduate apprentices to operate on an international stage will be encouraged. The opportunity for international mobility as a component of apprenticeship programmes will be piloted during the lifetime of this plan, either in the workplace or in education and training institutions.
The Government’s commitment to cross border apprenticeships is reaffirmed in the revised National Development Plan (NDP) 2021-2030 which sets an enhanced level of ambition for collaborative cross-border public investment, to build a more connected, prosperous and sustainable island, for all communities and traditions that share the island.
Under the NDP the Government through my Department will work with our Northern Ireland and UK counterparts, education and research stakeholders to support more strategic cooperation, realise more opportunities and shape further and higher education and research sectors that will meet the needs and capacity of the shared island in the decade ahead.This will include enhanced cooperation on higher and further education, through collaborative approaches to programmes such as developing cross border apprenticeships.
A Programme Area Skills Development strategy is being developed as part of the PEACE PLUS Programme Strategy. It will be aimed at delivering economic regeneration and transformation and identifying areas for investment. This will support area-based approaches, designed to address evidenced skills gaps, which will result in increased productivity and employment and higher levels of cross border labour mobility and enable cross border collaboration between education and training-based providers to address existing and emerging skills gaps, and opportunities for re-skilling.
Programme area Skills Development will support the provision of strategic cross border skills programmes in further education / higher education institutions (including joint programmes) in key disciplines such as ICT and digital, STEAM, the green economy, entrepreneurship and leadership and management amongst other areas and promote the uptake of apprenticeships in key areas such as ICT.