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Farm management apprenticeship set to be announced

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Higher Education Minister Simon Harris. Photo: Frank McGrath

Higher Education Minister Simon Harris. Photo: Frank McGrath

Higher Education Minister Simon Harris. Photo: Frank McGrath

Higher Education Minister Simon Harris will today unveil a pledge to train 10,000 new apprentices each year in the near future.

It is understood a new farm management apprenticeship will be among those announced today.

The move also stresses the Government’s commitment to revive a much-neglected training sector and includes a big increase in apprentice training numbers in the public sector.

The new plan will have a large number of commitments, the centrepiece of which will be registering 10,000 apprentices every year from 2025.

New public-sector apprenticeship targets will increase to a yearly target of 750 by 2025 – a seven-fold increase within four years.

There will be new yearly grants to help employers take on apprentices, which are expected to be €3,000 per year, per apprentice from next year. Such grants will be topped up for those employing a female, a lone parent, a person with a disability, or someone from direct provision.

An additional bursary of €2,666 will be extended to employers who take on a male apprentice in a female-dominated sector, or vice versa, with an 80pc-threshold applying.

Officials say 80pc of apprentices in hairdressing are female, while in other sectors such as plumbing, 80pc are male.

A limited bursary programme, for a maximum of 100 apprentices per year, will apply to help recruit those experiencing socio-economically disadvantaged and/or who are from target groups, including lone parents, people with disabilities, Travellers and Roma. For these, a rate of €5,000 per annum will be paid to the apprentice

New apprenticeships will also be developed such as a new healthcare assistant apprenticeship, along with apprentices with environmental skills and farming. Efforts for a more user-friendly recruitment system will be made via a single application portal for school leavers.

A new National Apprenticeship Office will be set up to put the changes into effect. Efforts will be made to establish more north-south co-operation in apprenticeship training and also an extension of international apprenticeship placements.

The moves on the public sector will mean 7pc of all apprentices should be placed there.

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