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Is an apprenticeship for you?

Find out more about what you could learn through an apprenticeship

Written by SpunOut | View this authors Twitter page and posted in employment

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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
  • Electrical Instrumentation
  • Electronic Security Systems
  • Farriery
  • Floor & Wall Tiling
  • Heavy Vehicle Mechanics
  • Industrial Insulation
  • Instrumentation
  • MAMF
  • Metal Fabrication
  • Motor Mechanics
  • Painting & Decorating
  • Pipefitting
  • Plastering
  • Plumbing
  • 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.

For more information

For more info about an apprenticeship, please check out Cross Care's downloadable resource

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Published July 19th, 2016
Last updated February 21st, 2018
Tags apprenticeships employment unemployment
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