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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.
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.
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.
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 educational requirements are:
Grade D in Five subjects in the Department of Education & Skills Junior Certificate Examination or an approved equivalent,
the successful completion of an approved Pre-Apprenticeship course,
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
- Agricultural Mechanics* [PDF – 177kb]
- Aircraft Mechanics* [PDF – 104kb]
- Brick and Stonelaying [PDF – 267kb]
- Carpentry & Joinery [PDF – 263kb]
- Construction Plant Fitting* [PDF – 177kb]
- Electrical* [PDF – 136kb]
- Electrical Instrumentation* [PDF – 138kb]
- Electronic Security Systems* [PDF – 137kb]
- Farriery [PDF – 190kb]
- Floor & Wall Tiling* [PDF – 266kb]
- Heavy Vehicle Mechanics* [PDF – 177kb]
- Industrial Insulation [PDF – 191kb]
- Instrumentation* [PDF – 138kb]
- MAMF* [PDF – 192kb]
- Metal Fabrication [PDF – 191kb]
- Motor Mechanics* [PDF – 178kb]
- Painting & Decorating* [PDF – 266kb]
- Pipefitting [PDF – 262kb]
- Plastering [PDF – 263kb]
- Plumbing* [PDF – 264kb]
- Refrigeration & Air Conditioning* [PDF – 137kb]
- Stonecutting & Stonemasonry [PDF – 263kb]
- Sheet Metalworking [PDF – 192kb]
- Toolmaking [PDF – 192kb]
- Vehicle Body Repairs* [PDF – 178kb]
- Wood Manufacturing and Finishing [PDF – 263kb]
A person wishing to become an apprentice in one of the trades marked * must pass a SOLAS approved colour vision test.
– 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.
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
Employers have responsibility for providing on-the-job training in Phases 1, 3, 5 and 7.
QQI will issue a record of award to those who have misplaced their original certificate. The forms can be obtained from Apprenticeship Services.
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.