Government announces €7.5 million capital funding to support Apprenticeship Programmes

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With the present skills shortage affecting a host of industries, the call for apprenticeship programmes has never been higher. The Government has announced funding of more than €7.5 million for nine Institutes of Technology and the Technological University (TU) Dublin. The funding was allocated as part of ‘Project Ireland 2040’, and will focus on new technologies, sustainable methods and materials and modernising traditional craft.


The Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh T.D said “The Government is deeply committed to expanding the apprenticeship system and this investment reaffirms that. Ensuring that our young people and those retraining have access to cutting edge equipment and the latest thinking on sustainability is key to further developing this increasingly-popular option for training and progression.

“There was an 80% increase in apprenticeship registrations between 2015 and 2018. This €7.5m funding will enable Institutes of Technology and TU Dublin to purchase new equipment and update their infrastructure. Apprenticeships offer fantastic opportunities and I would encourage any person looking at their career options, especially students preparing to sit exams this week, to strongly consider the many benefits of apprenticeship.”

Total Investment of €23 million

Provided by the Department of Education and Skills through the Higher Education Authority, this announcement brings the total capital funding allocated in the sector since 2017 to more than €23 million. This money will support the roll-out of new syllabi for apprenticeships in Plumbing, Carpentry, Electrical, Brickwork, Motor Painting and Decorating, Vehicle Body Repair, Fitting, Toolmaking and Wood Manufacturing and Finishing. Institutes of Technology and TU Dublin will provide apprentices with training in the most up to date techniques, including sustainable and renewable technologies such as solar and wind energy and energy efficient construction methods and materials. 6,500 apprentices are expected to undertake training in an Institute of Technology or TU Dublin in 2019.

Apprenticeship Programmes

An apprenticeship is a programme of structured education and training which formally combines and alternates learning in the workplace with learning in an education and training institution. This level of training prepares participants for a specific occupation and leads to a qualification on the National Framework of Qualifications. Since the 1970s it is estimated that over 105,000 apprentices have been trained in Ireland. The current apprenticeship population now stands at 16,000.

Building on the Programme for Government, the Action Plan for Education contains a commitment to enroll 31,000 people on apprenticeship programmes in the period 2016-2020. The Action Plan to Expand Apprenticeship and Traineeship in Ireland 2016-2020 sets out a series of detailed actions and annual targets to enable the Action Plan for Education commitments to be met. In 2018, 5,648 new apprentices were registered.


Total Apprentices   Registrations per year 2015 – 2018
Year 2015 2016 2017 2018
Total 3,153 3,821 4,843 5,648
Total Apprentice   Population per year 2015 – 2018
Year 2015 2016 2017 2018
Total 8,317 10,445 12,851 15,373



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