The New Age of Apprenticeship: A Generation of Learning While Earning

by Back To Work Connect November 04, 2022 No comments Blog

It’s clear that the new age of apprenticeships is upon us. In fact, the apprentice population more than doubled from 8,317 in 2015 to 19,630 in 2020! And that’s only the beginning.

Last year, the Irish government announced a three-year strategy that seeks to transform the apprenticeship space as we know it across Ireland. This new strategy will see an overhaul of the apprenticeship system, with an ambitious goal to increase apprenticeship registrations to 10,000 per year by 2025.

Apprenticeships are finally getting the attention & recognition they deserve and are now seen as a key route to skills development & career progression. Once considered to be reserved for craft, labour or trade career paths – we’ve recently seen their scope expand to include everything from finance to hospitality to software development and MedTech

Whether you’re actively looking for apprenticeship opportunities but are unsure where to start or if it’s even the right fit, we’ve pulled together this go-to guide to help you make an informed decision.

What is an Apprenticeship

An apprenticeship is a blended programme of structured education and training. Apprenticeships are open to everyone, from school leavers, career changers and older learners, to people of all backgrounds, talents and abilities.

They provide the perfect blend of technical training and hands-on industry experience. Unlike internships, where interns often work for little or no money and rarely receive formal training- an apprenticeship follows an earn-while-you-learn model and often leads to a nationally recognised credential.

Typically, an apprentice will split their time 80/20 between work and study. To become an apprentice in Ireland, you first need to be employed. Unlike work experience, an apprenticeship is a legitimate job that requires a legal contract of employment, salaries and annual leave

Benefits for all! From gaining invaluable new skills to identifying underlying talents, there are countless benefits to participating in an apprenticeship, both for the apprentice, the employer and the sector as a whole.

More & more employers & organisations nationwide are beginning to understand that to excel in the competitive global market, and as a way to promote strong growth outcomes, investment in apprenticeship programmes is the only way forward.

What to expect

Before considering an apprenticeship, it’s important to understand how things will work and what to expect. An apprenticeship generally lasts anywhere between 2-4 years, during which you will alternate between off-the-job learning in an education centre and on-the-job training at your employer’s workplace.

An apprentice spends between 50% and 80% of their time in the workplace, learning and developing skills on the job within their chosen field. The remainder of the time is spent with an education and training provider such as an ETB training centre or Higher Education Institute.

For those looking to add qualifications to their resume – successful completion of an apprenticeship can also lead to an award at Levels 5 to 10 on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ)

Benefits for all!

From gaining invaluable new skills to identifying underlying talents, there are countless benefits to participating in an apprenticeship, both for the apprentice, the employer and the sector as a whole.

More & more employers & organisations nationwide are beginning to understand that to excel in the competitive global market, and as a way to promote strong growth outcomes, investment in apprenticeship programmes is the only way forward.

Employers look at apprenticeships as an exciting and proven way to develop talent for their company or business, as apprenticeships are mainly industry-led groups designed in collaboration with education and training providers to meet current and future skill needs, supporting growth and competitiveness.

For apprentices, an apprenticeship means they can earn while they learn and build valuable work-ready skills in their chosen occupation with nationally recognised qualifications.

Apprenticeships open up exciting and rewarding careers, with learning grounded in the practical experience of undertaking a real job. Here are just some of the most common benefits you can expect:

Hands-on training: the opportunity to put your skills into practice and gain more confidence in a working environment.

Earn while you learn: Not only do you earn a salary as an apprentice, but you won’t have to pay any training fees. No student loans, no tuition fees, and, hopefully, no debt!

Varied learning experience: Forget endless hours sitting in front of a screen. You’ll enjoy a blended learning experience that focuses on learning while doing.

Boosted employability: Completing an apprenticeship will bolster your CV and showcase your skills, knowledge and behaviours to carry on in your career.

Recognised qualifications: Successful completion of an apprenticeship can also lead to an award at Levels 5 to 10 on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) that can be used towards further education or progressing your career.

Does apprenticeship sound like the right fit for you?

Find our more at https://apprenticeship.ie/