APPRENTICESHIP – BTC – BALLYFERMOT TRAINING CENTRE

Apprenticeship is the recognised means by which people are trained to become craftspeople in Ireland. The main craft trades (see Listing) have been designated by SOLAS and come within the scope of the Statutory Apprenticeship system, which is organised in Ireland by SOLAS in co-operation with the Department of Education and Skills, employers and unions.

Apprenticeship is a demand-driven, workplace and classroom, educational and training programme for employed people aimed at developing the skills of the apprentice to meet the needs of industry and the labour market. The Curriculum for each apprenticeship programme is based on uniform, pre-specified standards which are agreed and determined by industry. On successful completion of an apprenticeship, a FETAC Advanced Certificate is awarded; this is recognised internationally as the requirement for craftsperson status.

Apprentices are paid the agreed Industrial Apprentice Wage Rate by the employer (the actual rate paid may vary depending on the occupation and employer). Generally, rates are based on the year and increase during the apprenticeship; details should be checked with the prospective employer. During off-the-job training, all apprentices are paid an Apprentice Allowance and where appropriate, a contribution towards travel or accommodation costs. There are also grants to encourage employers to recruit and register Female Apprentices.

The apprenticeship cycle is deemed to be complete when the Results Approval Panel approves that the apprentice has successfully achieved the required qualifying standard, completed all of the alternating on-the-Job and Off-the-job phases of her/her apprenticeship and served the minimum apprenticeship period as specified by SOLAS from time to time. An Advanced Certificate Craft (Level 6 on the National Framework of Qualifications) is awarded to successful apprentices. For further information on Apprenticeships, see Code of Practice, Eligibility, Assessment and Benefits.

Further information about becoming, or employing, an apprentice contact your local Apprenticeship Section in the Ballyfermot Training Centre.

Apprentices must be at least 16 years of age and have a minimum of grade D in any five subjects in the Junior Certificate or equivalent. However, employers may require additional minimum qualifications.

Where individuals do not meet the minimum requirements they may be registered as an apprentice by an employer if:

They satisfactorily complete an approved preparatory training course and assessment interview. For information on these courses please contact your local Employment Services Office.

or

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 SOLAS shall deem acceptable.

Apprentices must be employed in their chosen occupation by an employer who has been approved by SOLAS. The employer must register the apprentice with SOLAS within 2 weeks of recruitment.

The minimum age at which a person may commence employment as an apprentice is 16 years of age.

The minimum educational requirements are:

Grade D in Five subjects in the Department of Education & Skills Junior Certificate Examination or an approved equivalent,

or

the successful completion of an approved Pre-Apprenticeship course,

or

be over 16 years of age with at least 3 years work experience. This work experience must be in a relevant designated industrial activity as SOLAS shall deem acceptable.

Apprentices are assessed on a structured ongoing basis throughout their apprenticeship. Modular assessments are carried out during the off-the-job training phases. These assessments incorporate course work, standardised practical assessments and theoretical assessments. During the on-the-job training phases of apprenticeship the apprentice’s competence is assessed to pre-specified standards by the employer.

Under the statutory rules an apprenticeship is deemed to be automatically terminated if the apprentice fails, after three attempts, to reach the required specified standard, in any of the off-the-job modular assessments. However, SOLAS provides a mechanism for both the apprentices and employers to appeal such a termination. In cases where appeals are successful the apprentice is afforded the opportunity of a fourth and final attempt.

Course Structure

The apprenticeship system is a modular standards-based system generally comprising of 7 alternating phases of on-the-job and off-the-job training and development. These alternating phases of training consist of 3 off-the-job and 4 on-the-job phases. The duration of the 3 off-the-job training phases does not normally exceed 40 weeks.

Exceptions to this are the apprenticeships in Floor and Wall Tiling, which has 5 phases of training and follows the minimum 4-year cycle and Print Media which has 5 phases and follows the minimum 3-year cycle.

The off-the-job phases are delivered by a Training Centre, an Institute of Technology or another approved training provider. The key factor in delivery of an off-the-job training phase is that it is delivered in a single training environment to ensure the integration of practical training with the necessary theoretical and personal skills.

The Annual Student Contribution is levied on students attending Higher Education Institutions including Institutes of Technology. As part of changes included in the Budget 2014, apprentices will now pay the same contribution as full time students but their contribution will be based on the time they spend in the Institutes.

The Student Contribution is payable to the Institute of Technology on the date of registration for the training phase and you should consult the relevant Institute of Technology for payment options.

Apprentices are required to pay an examination fee to the Institute of Technology and College of Further Education for repeat exams.

The apprenticeship cycle is deemed to be complete when the Results Approval Panel approves that the apprentice has successfully achieved the required qualifying standard, completed all of the alternating on-the-Job and Off-the-job phases of her/her apprenticeship and served the minimum apprenticeship period as specified by SOLAS from time to time. An Advanced Certificate Craft (Level 6 on the National Framework of Qualifications) is awarded to successful apprentices.

Generally, the duration of an apprenticeship is a minimum of 4 years, however the Print Media apprenticeship programme follows a minimum duration of 3 years.

APPRENTICEHSIPS FAQ’s

An apprentice is a person who works for an employer in a chosen occupation and gains the necessary skills, knowledge and attitudes to become a qualified craftsperson.

A person wishing to become an apprentice in one of the trades marked * must pass a SOLAS approved colour vision test.

The minimum educational qualifications necessary to become an apprentice are 5 D grades in the Junior Certificate examination or equivalent, or successfully complete an approved Pre-Apprenticeship course, or be over 16 years of age and have at least three years relevant work experience approved by SOLAS. However, some employers may specify higher educational qualifications.

Yes – a person wishing to become an apprentice in one of the crafts marked with * above must pass the “Ishihara” Colour Vision Test 24 Plate Edition.

You must obtain employment as an apprentice in your chosen trade. Your employer must be approved to train apprentices and must register you as an apprentice within 2 weeks of recruitment. Possible options include:-

– A relative, neighbour or friend who works in the trade

– Local or regionally-based companies operating in the trade

– Register with your local Employment Office indicating your interest in

becoming an apprentice. Local Employment Office staff try to match

job vacancies with registered individuals where possible.

The minimum age is 16.

A minimum of 4 years. The only exception is for the trade of Print Media which is a minimum of 3 years.

Apprenticeship generally comprises of seven phases, three off-the-job and four on-the-job. The only exceptions to the above are the Floor/Wall Tiling and Print Media apprenticeships, which have five phases, three on-the-job and two off-the-job training phases.

Off-the-job training is provided as follows:-

Phase 2 : Training Centre

Phase 4 : Institute of Technology or College of Further Education

Phase 6 : Institute of Technology or College of Further Education

On-the-job training

Employers have responsibility for providing on-the-job training in Phases 1, 3, 5 and 7.

You will be paid an apprentice rate. The actual rates paid may vary depending on the occupation and the sector of industry in which you are employed. You should seek details of rates of pay for apprentice from your prospective employer.

No. While every effort is made to accommodate apprentices close to home, this may not always be the case. Apprentices are scheduled on the longest waiting basis on the day of scheduling to the nearest available training location to their home address.

SOLAS strongly recommends apprentices to accept whatever offers are made to them as failure to accept such offers will have financial repercussions throughout your training. Failure to attend after three calls will result in your apprenticeship being automatically suspended.

You are not entitled to take holidays during your off-the-job training phases.

During off-the-job phases ,all qualifying apprentices are paid an Apprentice Training Allowance by SOLAS/ETB and where appropriate, a contribution towards travel or accommodation costs.

If you are referred (i.e have not met the required minimum standard in your assessments) you may repeat your exams on two more occasions, if necessary. However, failure in the final attempt will result in the termination of your apprenticeship. You may appeal the termination of your apprenticeship and if your appeal is successful, will be granted a final attempt.

Every effort will be made by SOLAS/ETB to help you progress through your apprenticeship if you find yourself in this situation. You should contact your Training Adviser assigned to you when you were registered as an apprentice who will be able to offer you advice and assistance.

No, however work experience gained abroad may be considered for accreditation towards time served.

On successful completion of your apprenticeship, a Level 6 Advanced Certificate Craft is awarded. This is recognised Nationally and Internationally as the requirement for craftsperson status. You may further develop your career i.e. company-based, cross-skilling, up-skilling, management or self-employment.

On successful completion of your apprenticeship you are eligible for consideration for entry into related degree programmes provided by the Institutes of Technology provided you also meet other special entry requirements. Details of the higher education institutes offering progression from Advanced Certificate – Craft to levels 7 and 8 are available on the FETAC website

http://www.fetac.ie/fetac/documents/Progression_from_FETAC_Adv_Cert-Craft_to_HE_Courses.pdf

Yes, you may apply to the local SOLAS/ETB office in your employment location.

SOLAS can provide replacement cards. Application for a replacement card should be made to Apprenticeship Services. A fee will be charged for all replacements.

QQI will issue a record of award to those who have misplaced their original certificate. The forms can be obtained from Apprenticeship Services.

SOLAS will consider applications for exemptions from the Standards-Based Apprenticeship programme for trade-related experience. However applicants must be registered as an apprentice before an application can be considered.

If you have any special requirements and need support i.e. dyslexia, numeracy, literacy, physical disabilities or medical conditions, it is your responsibility to inform SOLAS/ETB at the time of registration so that these needs can be catered for when you attend Off-the-Job training.

If you require additional learning supports in learning techniques, maths/science/drawing, practical work, you should log on to www.solas.ie and go to eCollege or contact your local Training Centre, an Institute of Technology, local VEC, evening classes or seek private tuition.