30 July, 2015 – Ministers O’Sullivan and English announce new Apprenticeship proposals
The Minister for Education and Skills, Jan O’Sullivan TD, and the Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation, Damien English TD, today announced 25 new apprenticeship proposals.
These proposals will see an expansion of the existing range of programmes offered under the Apprenticeship system, and are part of ongoing work to ensure that the system remains responsive to economic and employment needs.
The new proposals are the result of an evaluation process undertaken by the Apprenticeship Council. The Council has assigned these 25 new programmes Category 1 status, meaning that they are both sustainable and at an advanced stage of design, planning and industry/education collaboration. They will now enter a detailed development phase.
The 25 proposals are focussed on a wide range of skills and sectors, including Manufacturing and Engineering, Tourism and Sport, Financial Services, Information Technology, Transport Distribution and Logistics, and Business Administration and Management.
The new types of apprenticeships being proposed today are very flexible, ranging in duration from two to four years, and will be offered at Levels 5 to 9 on the National Framework of Qualifications.
Speaking at the announcement, Minister O’Sullivan said: “I want to thank the Apprenticeship Council for all the work it has done in bringing us to this point. It represents an important milestone in what has been a concentrated effort to improve the options available to those who wish to participate in apprenticeships, whether they are employers or prospective students.
“I can see from the volume of proposals received that there is a genuine interest from employers in the apprenticeship model. Employers gain not only from taking on committed and ambitious young people, but also from engaging with the education and training system, which ensures that apprentices have the full range of skills required by employers.”
Minister English said: “If Ireland is to be both competitive and innovative we need a highly skilled workforce. Apprenticeships offer a tried and tested method of developing highly skilled workers using a powerful mixture of course work and practical on the job learning. I am delighted we are now about to double the number of Apprenticeship Schemes to better serve the needs of a whole new range of industry sectors, and to offer new and exciting career opportunities to our people.
“An apprenticeship is more than just a route into work; the experience and skills it provides allow people to flourish in their careers and rise to the very top. I would urge young people to actively look at an Apprenticeship as the foundation of their future career – it certainly worked for Jamie Oliver.”
Both Ministers thanked the Apprenticeship Council for their ongoing work in the area, and acknowledged the high level of interest and commitment shown by the proposers of the new programmes, thanking them for their engagement and enthusiasm.
Pat O’Doherty, Chairperson of the Apprenticeship Council, said: “The Apprenticeship Council was really encouraged by the number and quality of the proposals we received. We believe that there is now an excellent pipeline of potential new apprenticeships in Ireland and we look forward to working with proposers to develop and deliver these new programe