Cybersecurity and animation among new apprenticeship areas

Government aims to double number of young people taking ‘earn and learn’ route

Photograph: Getty

Photograph: Getty


New apprenticeships in areas ranging from animation to cybersecurity will be available to school-leavers over the next year or so.

They form part of wider plans to build-up the Irish apprenticeship system and double the number of young people choosing “earn and learn” options over the coming years.

At present just 2 per cent of school-leavers are pursuing apprenticeships as a route into work compared with close to 60 per cent in Germany.

While apprenticeships were traditionally restricted to construction and craft areas, new apprenticeships span a much wider range of sectors such as stud farm management, scaffolding, systems engineering, horticulture and sport turf management.

They will range in skill level from level five (certificate) to level 10 (doctorate) and vary in duration from two to four years.

They join a host of new-style apprenticeships introduced over the past year in areas such as insurance practice, accounting and financial services.

The numbers choosing this pathway are growing after apprenticeships plummeted during the recession, falling from about 29,000 to just above 5,700 in 2013.

The Government has pledged to more than double the number of apprenticeship and traineeship enrolments to 14,000 by 2020.

A total of 26 new apprentices are due to be announced on Friday which will be developed over the next 12-15 months.

In a statement, Minister for Education Richard Bruton said registrations had collapsed and fallen by more than 80 per cent during the recession.

“I am keen during my time as Minister to now, not only reverse this trend and rebuild traditional pathways, but to significantly expand apprenticeships into new industries. I believe this is key to fulfilling our ambition to be the best in Europe by 2026,” he said.


He said the programmes will provide opportunities and choice for school-leavers and other learners, and allow employers shape the programmes that best suit their workforce needs.

Mr Bruton said he was committed to expanding further into new areas and the budget had allocated some €122 million in 2018 to help deliver this goal.

Apprenticeships are programmes of structured education and training which combine learning in the workplace with learning in an education and training institution. They prepare participants for a specific occupation and lead to a qualification.

By the end of this year more than 4,700 apprentices will have registered and started their training. There are currently more than 12,000 apprentices with 4,900 participating employers.

Mr Bruton’s action plan for education contains a commitment to enrol 31,000 people on apprenticeship programmes in the period 2016-2020, a near doubling on current activity.

New apprenticeships :

Some 26 new apprenticeships are to be developed over the next 12-15 months. They include:

Applied horticulture (two years)

Arboriculture (two years)

Associate sales professional (three years)

CGI technical artist: animation, games, VFX (two years)

Equipment systems engineer (two years)

Farm management (four years)

Farm technician (two years)

Geo-driller (three years)

ICT associate professional in cybersecurity (two years)

Lean Sigma manager (two years)

Logistics associate (two years)

Principal engineer (four years)

Professional bar manager (two years)

Professional hairdressing (three years)

Professional healthcare assistant (two years)

Quality assurance technician (three years)

Quality laboratory technician (three years)

Senior quantity surveyor (two years)

Recruitment practitioner (two years)

Scaffolding (three years)

Software system designer (two years)

Sport turf management ( two years)

Stud farm management (two years)

Supply chain associate (three years)

Supply chain manager (two years)

Supply chain specialist (two years)