Apprenticeships provide on-the-job training with an employer.
Apprenticeships alternate between off-the-job training in an education centre and on-the-job training at your employer's workplace.
An apprenticeship generally lasts for 4 years, during which time you will spend 3 different periods in off-the-job training.
This training will take place in a SOLAS Training Centre or in an educational college.
The skills you develop will be assessed through on-the-job competence testing as well as off-the-job modular assessment and examinations and, if you complete these assessments successfully, you will be awarded a QQI Advanced Certificate.
To be eligible for an apprenticeship, you must be at least 16 years of age and you are expected to have a minimum of grade D in 5 subjects in the Junior Certificate or equivalent exam.
However, if you don't have these qualifications, you can still register as an apprentice with an employer if you:
- Complete an approved preparatory training course followed by an assessment interview. There is a specific preparatory training course available for people with disabilities
- Are over 18 years of age and have at least 3 years of relevant work experience, in which case you will also be asked to do an assessment interview.
You will be asked to pass a colour-vision test approved by for some apprenticeships.
While you are training on the job, your employer will pay you a recommended apprenticeship wage. If you are training in certain sectors, SOLAS pay a weekly allowance equivalent to that wage while you are training off the job. In all other industrial sectors, your off-the-job payments will be the responsibility of your employer, although SOLAS will contribute to any necessary travel and accommodation costs.
Note for Redundant apprentices:
If you are made redundant because your employer does not have enough work for you as an apprentice you should contact your local SOLAS Services to Business office as listed in the information for redundant apprentices on the SOLAS website.
SOLAS can place certain redundant apprentices with eligible employers and assist the employers with the employment costs of these apprentices.
The scheme applies to apprentices in certain trades.
There are also places in the Institutes of Technology for redundant apprentices and crafts persons.