Government of Ireland
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Ministers Harris & Collins launch new National Apprenticeship Alliance

25 March 2022 

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris and Minister of State for Skills and Further Education Niall Collins have today launched the National Apprenticeship Alliance (NAA).

As set out in the ‘Action Plan for Apprenticeship, 2021 to 2025 ’, the NAA will have an advisory role in relation to the development of the apprenticeship system and will oversee and sanction the development of new apprenticeships over the coming years.

Members of the NAA will be responsible for:

  • representing apprenticeship stakeholders and helping to steer the next phase of apprenticeship development, including the creation of a single unified system
  • working with the National Apprenticeship Office, SOLAS and the HEA to implement the craft apprentice migration plan to ensure that all apprenticeship are delivered under the single apprenticeship system
  • recommending apprenticeship proposals for development and approving formal occupational profiles in the development of new apprenticeships, so that apprenticeship programmes continue to have nationally approved standards of knowledge, skills and competence

The 23-member alliance is representative of apprenticeship stakeholders and brings together a wealth of knowledge and first-hand, practical experience from the worlds of education providers, learners, industry partners and trade unions.

Marking the first meeting of the NAA, Minister Harris said:

"We now have 64 active apprenticeships from levels 5 to 10 on the National Framework of Qualifications in sectors of the economy from construction and biopharma to hospitality and finance. And I’m delighted that we have many other programmes currently in, or proposed for, development.

The National Apprenticeship Alliance will be a key driver for this progress and will help steer the next phase of apprenticeship development under a single coherent system.

A key priority behind the formation of this alliance has been to capture the wealth of perspectives and experience of the broad range of stakeholders involved in all aspects of apprenticeship.

I believe that the strategies that we are implementing will allow us all to reach our overall objectives as a nation and as a society and I would like to thank the Chairman, Pat O’Doherty, and all the alliance members for their generosity in volunteering their time and expertise to what we all believe to be a truly worthy area of work.”

Minister Collins noted:

"We are making progress on the deliverables set out in the ‘Action Plan for Apprenticeship 2021 to 2025’ with the establishment of the National Apprenticeship Office and funding for the new apprenticeship employer grant. Together with the National Apprenticeship Alliance, these structures and supports will provide strong direction for employers and prospective apprentices, so that they can see apprenticeship as a valuable proposition.

The alliance will play a pivotal role in promoting, enabling and supporting both existing and in particular potential programmes, to provide the widest scope and opportunity for all interested parties to benefit and prosper.

National Apprenticeship Alliance members

ChairpersonPat O'Doherty
EducationDFHERISSarah Miley
THEAMichael Hannon (GMIT)
IUANora Trench Bowles
HECADiarmuid Hegarty
ETBICaitríona Murphy (DDLETB)
QQIBarbara Kelly
HEA Ruaidhri Neavyn
SOLASAlan McGrath
PartnersICTUKaran O'Loughlin (SIPTU)
ICTUPaddy Kavanagh (CONNECT)
Learner representativeJohn Fortune (USI)
Learner representativeCaoimhe O’Carroll (USI)
Consortium representativePaula Hodson (The Insurance Institute)
NAAC representativePaul Cremmins
IndustryIBECMeadhbh Costello
IBECBarry Comerford (Cambus Medical)
Restaurants Associaton of IrelandAdrian Cummins
Consortium Steering Group for Hairdressing in IrelandWayne Lloyd
Construction Industry FederationDermot Carey
Industry bodyTBC
NAODirectorMary-Liz Trant