Minister English welcomes €10.5 million for new Apprenticeships in Budget 2016

Apprenticeships, Jobs

The Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation, Damien English TD, has welcomed the provision of €10.5 million to expand the apprenticeship programme. The Government has, in Budget 2016, increased the National Training Fund allocation for apprenticeship from almost €50 million to over €60 million. This will allow for the development of new apprenticeship programmes and cater for increased registrations in existing trades.

Minister English said that “since my appointment, I have been committed to developing our apprenticeship system. We now have high quality proposals identified by the Apprenticeship Council in new areas such as ICT, Transport and Logistics, Financial Services and Tourism and Hospitality. This funding will allow for their development into new apprenticeships in 2016”.
He continued by stating that “Apprenticeship is an excellent route to a sustainable high quality career for young people as well as delivering highly skilled and job ready employees to meet the skill needs of industry. I am delighted that we are not just expanding apprenticeship into new areas but that registrations on existing programmes are continuing on an upward curve after a number of very difficult years”.
“The increase in registrations with employers for existing Apprenticeships which are up almost 20% in 2015 over 2014 are a clear vote of confidence in the future by both employers and young people. The Irish economy is now in recovery mode after many years of recession.” said Minister English “and investing in skills is one of the best things we can do to ensure we build a sustainable recovery and future proof the Irish economy.”
Minister English also welcomed that Budget 2016 will enable some 270,000 further education and training places to be delivered through SOLAS funding to the Education and Training Boards and through Skillnets.
The Minister said that “the Government has delivered major reform of the further education and training sector through new structures and processes that will enable provision to be targeted effectively to meet the needs of learners and employers. I am confident that SOLAS and the Education and Training Boards will carefully plan the delivery of these places to deliver the maximum positive impact for learners and for the economy.”

Speech to Advanced Certificates Craft Presentation 2015 at City West Hotel

Apprenticeships, Education

Check Against Delivery

Address

By

Damien English T.D., Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation

At the Advanced Certificates Craft Presentation 2015

City West Hotel, Dublin

Friday 25th September

Graduates, Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a pleasure to be here today to celebrate your graduation as craftspeople. There are few occasions in our lives that are marked as special, and today is one of those days for you, the recipients of the Advanced Certificate Craft.

Apprenticeship is a high quality programme that is structured to ensure that the most up to date methods and practices are imparted to the participants throughout the duration of their apprenticeship. The combination of alternating phases of on-the-job and off-the-job training provides an opportunity to get a recognised qualification while at the same time gaining on-the-job experience relevant to your chosen career.

As Ireland’s economy continues to recover and businesses expand there will be more employment opportunities. We need to ensure that there is a pipeline of young talented people such as yourselves to meet this demand.

Businesses need people with strong practical skills, and apprenticeship and vocational training are key to delivering these. The skills learned through an apprenticeship are invaluable and offer real job opportunities.

In recent times we have seen a very high and growing demand for people with vocational skills and the Irish apprenticeship programme has proven hugely successful in developing highly skilled workers like yourselves here today.

The Irish Apprenticeship System is highly respected both here in Ireland and abroad and is one of the best apprenticeship programmes in the world. As Paul O’Toole mentioned, this is evident from the achievements of Irish apprentices in WorldSkills Competitions. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the 2015 Irish Team, one of whom, David Morgan, is here today. Their success at this year’s WorldSkills Competition is remarkable.

I would also like to acknowledge the enormous contribution by all concerned with the provision of Apprenticeship training. Employers and the Education and Training Board Training Centres and Institutes of Technology all have a key role in the delivery of the programme, with SOLAS and the Department of Education & Skills, sharing responsibility for the planning of the programme. It is a model of partnership in action.

The reform of the Further Education and Training Sector is playing a key role in the Government’s commitment to ensuring that learners and those seeking employment can gain the skills they require to find employment and that employers have access to people who have the skills required for their business.

In 2013, as part of the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs initiative, my Department undertook a review of the Irish apprenticeship system. A key recommendation of the review was the establishment of an Apprenticeship Council.

One of the first tasks of the Apprenticeship Council was to issue a call for proposals from consortia of industry and education and training providers, to develop new apprenticeships in sectors outside the current craft apprenticeships.

In July 2015, following an evaluation of proposals received, the Minister for Education and Skills, Jan O’Sullivan T.D. and I announced twenty five new apprenticeship proposals. The expansion of Apprenticeship and the announcement of 25 new categories of Apprenticeship is part of the ongoing work to ensure that the system remains responsive to economic and employment needs.

The new apprenticeships will include a range of new industry sectors and offer new career opportunities. I am confident that these new apprenticeships will prove to be as successful and will match the very high standard of the existing 27 apprenticeships.

Finally, I would like to sincerely thank all those who offered you support and encouragement during your Apprenticeship. Today is an opportunity to celebrate your achievement in being recognised as highly skilled craftspersons.I congratulate each and every one of you and wish you every success with your career.

ENDS

25 new Apprenticeship proposals launched today

Apprenticeships, Skills

Delighted to  join Minister Jan O’Sullivan and Pat O’Doherty of ESB and the Apprentice Council in launching 25 new apprenticeships today.

Today I was delighted to join my Departmental colleague Minister Jan O’Sullivan and Pat O’Doherty of the ESB and Chair of the Apprenticeship Council in announcing 25 new apprenticeship offerings.

These new offerings will see an expansion of the existing range of programmes offered under the Apprenticeship system, and are part of ongoing work to ensure that the system remains responsive to economic and employment needs.

The new offerings which are now in the development phase are the result of an evaluation process undertaken by the Apprenticeship Council.

The 25 new Apprenticeships will focus on a wide range of skills and sectors, including Manufacturing and Engineering, Tourism and Sport, Financial Services, Information Technology, Transport Distribution and Logistics, and Business Administration and Management.

The new types of apprenticeships being proposed today are very flexible, ranging in duration from two to four years, and will be offered at Levels 5 to 9 on the National Framework of Qualifications.

My job in Government is to bring education and industry together to make sure we have the skills needed for industry to compete, and for our people to get decent jobs with good wages. Since becoming a Minister a year ago, I have made building a more effective Apprenticeship offering a key part of delivering both of these objectives.

Apprenticeships are not the educational equivalent of the Junior B Football Team for people not deemed bright enough for a college degree. They are a pathway to a fulfilling and profitable career. Apprenticeships are a tried and tested method of developing deep skills through a powerful mixture of working with and learning from experts on the job, and through structured coursework.

Apprenticeships are about learning by doing. Quite simply, they work.

The launch venue of Dublin restaurant Fallon & Byrne was a fitting one given the surge in demand for more skilled people to work in the restaurant and hospitality sectors which has been highlighted to me regularly by Stephen McNally, and Enfield native and President of the Irish Hotels Federation, as well as many local hotel and restaurant owners.

Among the 25 new apprenticeships I want to highlight the work of Ashbourne butcher of the Association of Craft Butchers in Ireland for advancing the new Butchery and Fresh Food Retail apprenticeship.

There are also  significant job opportunities in the HGV driver sector,  and the I.T. sector, which is again reflected amongst the 25 new apprenticeships that will be offered.

ESB have announced 300 new apprenticeships.

Apprenticeships, Education, Skills

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I was delighted to join with the Tanaiste Joan Burton in launching 300 new apprenticeships at the ESB in Portlaoise this morning.

The CEO of the ESB, Pat O’Doherty, who also Chairs the Apprenticeship Council, is leading by practical example in his company.

I hope the work of the Apprenticeship Council, under Pat’s leadership, will mean many more new apprenticeships on offer by the end of this year/early 2016.

The ESB is recruiting 300 apprentices over the next five years, as part of a €40m investment in the utility’s training and development programme.

Network Technician apprentices will get 23 weeks of training at the ESB training centre in Portlaoise as part of their four year electrical apprenticeship.

The deadline for application is 13th March 2015.