Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD has today (Thursday) announced 17 new apprenticeship programmes will be developed during 2022.
The development of the new programmes are intended to help deliver on the commitments made under the Programme for Government to support and drive the economy, while addressing the skills requirements identified across society.
Speaking today, Minister Harris said: “I’m delighted to announce the development of these new programmes today, which are a vital step towards increasing annual apprenticeship registrations to 10,000 by 2025.
“In order to meet our targets we require an apprenticeship system that is flexible and responsive, providing a strong value proposition for employers and potential apprentices, is attractive and easy to engage with, and which delivers high standards and sought after qualifications, therefore embedding apprenticeship as a preferred route to skills development.
“We now have 62 apprenticeship programmes. Eight new programmes were launched over 2020 and 2021 despite the challenges presented by Covid and we have a further four programmes close to launch. People are responding to this variety and as of last week, we had over 8,000 new registrations this year. Across 2022, we will expand the system further, to create even more employment and learning opportunities for people.”
Under the Action Plan for Apprenticeships, the number of new apprentice registrations is to grow to 10,000 per year by 2025.
The 17 new courses being developed over the coming year are in the areas of agriculture, engineering, construction, equine, finance, hospitality and food, ICT and logistics.
Minister Harris added: “I will be bringing forward legislation to allow for the delivery of apprenticeships in agriculture, where we will seek to develop apprenticeships in farm manger and farm technician roles.
“In construction, you will also be able to access a master’s level qualification in Quantity Surveying through the apprenticeship route.
“An apprenticeship in Commercial Driving is being developed. And this is key as there is a real labour and skill shortage emerging in the transport and haulage sector. These will complement the existing logistics apprenticeships.
“We have set ourselves ambitious targets, but we are delivering on them. As of last month we had 7,484 apprenticeship registrations this year – a 25 per cent increase on pre-pandemic 2019 figures for the same period. This has continued to increase and just last week, we achieved over 8,000 registrations so far this year.”
“I hope these new opportunities to learn in a practical way, as well as the changes we recently announced to the CAO webpage, will help deliver the message that an apprenticeship can provide a real and substantive career pathway for school leavers, those looking to upskill, change career or for people who are looking for a route back to employment in new and growing areas.”
Apprenticeship programmes are employer-led. Approval for programme development will be transferred from the Apprenticeship Council to the new National Apprenticeship Alliance, which is being established in early 2022.
An apprenticeship is a work-based learning opportunity. It combines a minimum of 50% work-based learning with an employer with off-the-job learning in an education and training institution. Apprenticeships lead to internationally recognised qualifications from level 5 -10 of the National Framework of Qualifications.
Apprentices ‘earn while they learn’ – they have an employment contract and are paid a salary for the duration of their apprenticeship.
Apprenticeships vary in length depending on the programme, lasting between two and five years.
The 17 new apprenticeships under development during 2022 are as follows:
Advanced Quantity Surveyor
Roofing and Cladding
Manufacturing Data Integration Engineer
Precision Machinist and Quality Control
Science Aircraft Asset Management
Wind Turbine Maintenance
Stud Farm Assistant Management
International Financial Services Advanced Specialist
HOSPITALITY & FOOD
Software Solutions Architect
Advanced Cyber Security Practitioner
Transport Operations and Commercial Driving