Written answers

Thursday, 2 December 2021

Department of Education and Skills

Apprenticeship Programmes

Photo of Róisín ShortallRóisín Shortall (Dublin North West, Social Democrats)
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156. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if he plans to include homecare workers in his Department’s apprenticeship system in view of the homecare staffing crisis; if he has engaged with industry stakeholders; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [59675/21]

Photo of Simon HarrisSimon Harris (Wicklow, Fine Gael)
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The National Skills Infrastructure provides a robust structure for engagement with sectors on areas of identified skills needs.  There are a range of programmes in place to support the home care sector which are delivered across the further and higher education system. 

At further education level, there are currently 89 courses leading to a Level 5 Certificate for Healthcare Assistants available nationally.  Over 12,735 learners gained the Level 5 qualification during 2020 and 2021.

Apprentices are primarily employees who undertake a structured programme of on-the-job and off-the-job training to gain an internationally recognised qualification.  The development of a new apprenticeship is employer-led, with consortia comprising employer groups and educational providers coming together to identify a skills need and appropriate apprenticeship response in their sector.  A level 6 Advanced Health Care Assistant Apprenticeship was launched in 2021.  It is managed by an apprenticeship consortium which includes representatives from the private healthcare, home and community care sector.  56 apprentices were registered on this two year apprenticeship as at the end of October 2021.


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