Government of Ireland
Regional Skills

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Ministers Harris announces new support for apprenticeship employers

20 December 2021 

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD has today (Sunday) announced the introduction of an annual grant of €2,000 for employers who employ apprentices in one of the 37 apprenticeships which have been established since 2016.

This extends financial support to all apprentice employers for the first time, addressing a key barrier to employer participation in apprenticeship.

Speaking earlier this week, Minister Harris said: “Throughout 2021, my Department has placed a real focus on apprenticeship and we have seen the effect of that through a significant increase in the number of apprentices that have registered.

“Today, we are announcing a range of important supports for businesses including a €2,000 grant for employers. This will help address the cost of employing apprentices and encourage employers to consider apprenticeship as something that is excellent for business and excellent for the learner.

“We have over 62 apprenticeship programmes from engineering to accounting, hairdressing, biopharma. You can be an apprentice in your local retail centre or restaurant, an up- and- coming small or medium sized firm, or the multinational company around the corner.

The new Employer Grant is funded in Budget 2022 and will see annual payments to employers of €2,000 per apprentice per year for those apprenticeships which are not eligible for the payment of off-the-job training allowances. Its introduction means that, for the first time, employers of all apprentices will now have access to financial support, either through direct payment of allowances to apprentices or through the new employer grant. Effective from January 2022, this annual base grant will be paid to employers who employ apprentices in one of the 37 apprenticeships which have been established since 2016. The grant will be paid for each eligible registered apprentice during their employment with the company. Two payment points are planned per year- June and December.

Minister Harris also announced the appointment of Dr Mary-Liz Trant as the Director of the National Apprenticeship Office.

Speaking today, Minister Harris said: “I am delighted to announce the appointment of Dr Mary-Liz Trant as the Director of our new National Apprenticeship Office. Mary-Liz will bring a wealth of experience and a dynamism to this really important area.”

“We have made excellent progress on the deliverables set out in the Action Plan and 2022 will bring new and exciting opportunities including the further development and launch of programmes such as Advanced Cybersecurity Practitioner, Wind Turbine Technician, Manufacturing Data Integration Engineer, Advanced Quantity Surveyor, Software Solutions Architect, and Transport Operations and Commercial Driving.”

Dr Mary-Liz Trant is a teacher by profession and has been working for over 25 years in further and higher education, holding senior posts in SOLAS and the Higher Education Authority. She holds advanced qualifications in education and learning, including a PhD in education, and has worked and studied in the UK, France and Canada as well as Ireland.

For more information on apprenticeships, visit or