Is an apprenticeship for you?
Find out more about what you could learn through an apprenticeship
What is the Statutory Apprenticeship system?
Apprenticeships are the recognised way of training to become a craftsperson in Ireland. SOLAS, formerly known as FAS, is the body responsible for administering apprenticeship schemes.
What qualification is achieved at the end of an apprenticeship?
A QQI Level 6. This is recognised internationally.
Who is eligible to participate in an apprenticeship?
Apprentices must be aged 16 or over and have a minimum of grade D in any five Junior Certificate subjects.
If an applicant does not meet these criteria, they still may become an apprentice if:
They complete an approved preparatory training course and assessment interview.
They are over 16 years of age with a minimum of three years relevant work experience. This work experience must be in a relevant designated industrial activity as approved by SOLAS.
What craft trades can you learn through an apprenticeship scheme?
- Agricultural Mechanics
- Aircraft Mechanics
- Brick and Stonelaying
- Carpentry & Joinery
- Construction Plant Fitting
- Electrical Instrumentation
- Electronic Security Systems
- Floor & Wall Tiling
- Heavy Vehicle Mechanics
- Industrial Insulation
- Metal Fabrication
- Motor Mechanics
- Painting & Decorating
- Print Media
- Refrigeration & Air Conditioning
- Stonecutting & Stonemasonry
- Sheet Metalworking
- Tool making
- Vehicle Body Repairs
- Wood Manufacturing and Finishing
How are apprenticeships taught?
They are taught in both the workplace and the classroom. They are comprised on 7 alternative phases of on-the-job and off-the-job training. There are 3 off-the-job and 4 on-the-job phases.
The off-the-job phases are delivered in a Training Centre, IT, or another training provider.
How are apprenticeships assessed?
Apprentices are assessed through a variety of modular assessments during off-the-job training, which include course work, practical assessments and theoretical assessments. During on-the-job training, they are assessed based on pre-specified standards by their employer.
Are they paid?
Apprentices are paid the Industrial Apprentice Wage Rate during the on-the-job training. This is calculated based on industry averages. Find out more here. During off-the-job training the are paid an Apprentice Allowance where appropriate, and a contribution towards travel or accommodation costs.
Apprentices must pay a student contribution fee, which will vary depending on which training institution they receive off-the-job training from.
How long do they last?
Generally, they last a minimum of 4 years.