Saturday 20 July 2019

New apprenticeships for butchers, bakers, chefs and engineers

Education Minister Jan O’Sullivan
Education Minister Jan O’Sullivan

Emma Jane Hade

The number of apprenticeships will almost double, with opportunities for budding chefs, travel professionals and accountants, as part of an overhaul of the existing system.

Education Minister Jan O'Sullivan announced that 25 new programmes will become available in the coming months in an attempt to combat the "skills gap" in certain sectors.

Apprenticeships were previously predominantly offered in mechanical and construction industries.

But the changes are geared towards creating an "alternative path" for jobseekers as they leave education.

The announcement was made by Ms O'Sullivan and Junior Minister Damien English yesterday.

Ms O'Sullivan said the addition of the new programmes, to the existing 27, were a very welcome "reform" of the system.

"It goes a long way towards addressing the real need for vibrant apprenticeships in a range of sectors," she added.

The Apprenticeship Council received 86 submissions during the consultation process.

The 25 programmes announced yesterday have been given 'category one' status, as they have been deemed financially sustainable and are in an advanced stage of planning.

The courses range in levels of qualification - from level five to nine.

They include butchery, baking, manufacturing, engineering and an executive chef course.

Interest

Some of the opportunities will be with the Irish Medical Device Association, Eircom and the Irish Hotels Federation.

Ms O'Sullivan said the volume of proposals they received made it clear that there was a "genuine interest from employers in the apprenticeship model".

The courses, which range in length from two to four years, will be rolled out over the next six to 12 months.

"It is possible that one or two may run into 2017, but we expect that the vast majority of those 25 will roll out in the next year," the minister added.

Business group Ibec welcomed the addition of the new apprenticeships.

Irish Independent

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