An apprenticeship is a programme of structured education and training.
The dual system combines hands-on work in the workplace, with learning in a training centre, applying theory to real-life practice works.
Ireland has a long history of providing apprenticeships. However, for generations, most of us knew only of traditional apprenticeships, such as construction and mechanics.
Vast range of industries
Since 2016, the range of industries covered by apprenticeships has grown significantly.
You now have a choice of taking apprenticeships from industries such as computer and ICT, insurance, finance and much more.
These new-style apprenticeships can lead to an award ranging between Level 5 and Level 10 on the national framework of qualifications.
In conjunction with Education Training Boards Ireland (ETBI), SOLAS and the Government of Ireland, there are currently 58 apprenticeship programmes and the good news is that more apprenticeships are being validated all the time.
How do I become an apprentice?
To become an apprentice in Ireland, you must be hired by an employer.
To find an apprenticeship, you can search for vacancies on the jobs portal on the apprenticeship website. Here, you can search for vacancies by location and by apprenticeship.
Additionally, it is a good idea to keep an eye on other job websites, as well as the local and national media, where details of employers seeking to employ an apprentice can be found.
Right throughout your apprenticeship experience, you will receive support from an ETBI senior training adviser, who acts as a link between you (the apprentice) and the employer.
As part of your apprenticeship you will get a formal contract of employment.
In this blended learning contract, you earn while you learn. The rate of pay is agreed between you and your employer.
It is important to note that all rates of pay are designated and regulated by the relevant industry body, such as the Irish Motor Industry, for example.
All employers are assessed and formally approved by ETBI senior training advisers and SOLAS in advance of employing apprentices, so you know you are in safe hands.
The new apprenticeship offerings really do cover the whole economy, proving just how fruitful a choice it could be for you to consider an apprenticeship. Below are just some of the apprenticeships currently on offer:
Arboriculture Level 6: Arboriculture is the cultivation, management and study of individual trees, shrubs, vines and other perennial woody plants. On completion of this two-year apprenticeship, you will become a fully qualified arborist. You may then work as an arborist in the arboriculture industry or progress within the sector and/or to higher education programmes.
Insurance practitioner Level 8: Are you a people person, a problem solver and a good negotiator? If so, a career as an insurance practitioner is the right one for you. On completion of this three-year apprenticeship, you will become a fully qualified insurance practitioner, with a BA (Hons) degree in insurance practice. You may then work as an insurance practitioner in life, financial services and other sectors of the insurance industry.
Cybersecurity Level 6: Are you a tech enthusiast? Do you enjoy problem solving? If this sounds like you, then the cybersecurity apprenticeship is what you’re looking for. With this two-year apprenticeship, you will become a fully qualified cybersecurity worker, with the opportunity to work in the ever-growing cybersecurity industry.
Agricultural mechanics Level 6: Have a passion for machinery, interested in agriculture and love problem solving? Then a career as an agricultural mechanic might be for you. With this four-year apprenticeship, you will become a fully qualified agricultural mechanic. You may choose to either work as an agricultural mechanic in a garage, an agricultural machinery contractor, start your own business or become a teacher/instructor.
Farriery Level 6: Love horses and want a job where you’re hands-on and outdoors? The four-year farriery apprenticeship gives you a traditional trade, with the opportunity to be self-employed in the equestrian industry. Visit farms, racing yards and horse breeders making and fitting horseshoes or continue learning in advanced technology and management courses.
Auctioneering and property services Level 6: Do you have an interest in property and want to work in an exciting marketplace? If so, auctioneering and property services could be the apprenticeship for you. This two-year apprenticeship will make you eligible to apply for a license from the Property Service Regulatory Authority (PSRA) and work as an estate agent in estate agency, property management and property letting.
Find out more about the application process and individual apprenticeship positions on www.apprenticeship.ie.