€320,000 funding bid launched to boost apprenticeships in Waterford
Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation and Research and Development John Halligan T.D., along with Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh T.D. and Minister of State for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor T.D. have announced capital funding of just over €7.5 million for nine institutes of technology (IoTs) and the Technological University (TU) Dublin.
This funding is being provided by the Department of Education and Skills through the Higher Education Authority (HEA). It forms part of the Government’s commitment, under Project Ireland 2040, to increase investment in higher and further education and training and to the modernisation of equipment available for craft apprenticeship provision.
Waterford IT is receiving €320,000 of the funding with €180,000 being injected into motor apprenticeships, €80,000 into plumbing and €60,000 in electrical.
In announcing the funding, Minister Halligan said: “The Government has committed to more than doubling the number of new apprentices registered and the number of apprenticeships on offer over the lifetime of the Action Plan to Expand Apprenticeship and Traineeship. Budget 2019 allocated €142m for apprenticeship training, an increase of over 16% on the previous year. This will allow for the delivery of 10 more apprenticeship programmes and over 7,000 new apprenticeship registrations in 2019 alone.”
Minister McHugh said: “The Government is deeply committed to expanding the apprenticeship system and this investment reaffirms that. Ensuring that our young people and those retraining have access to cutting edge equipment and the latest in thinking on sustainability, is key to further developing this increasingly-popular option for training and progression."
"We have seen an 80% increase in apprenticeship registrations between 2015 and 2018. This funding will enable IoTs across the country and TU Dublin to purchase new equipment and update their infrastructure. Apprenticeships offer fantastic opportunities and I would encourage any person looking at their career options to strongly consider the many benefits of an apprenticeship."
This announcement brings the total capital funding allocated to support the ongoing modernising of craft apprenticeship programmes in the sector since 2017 to over €23 million. This funding will support the roll-out of new syllabi for apprenticeships in Plumbing, Carpentry, Electrical, Brickwork, Motor Painting and Decorating, Vehicle Body Repair, Fitting, Toolmaking and Wood Manufacturing and Finishing.
This investment will enable IoTs and TU Dublin to provide apprentices with training in the most up to date techniques including sustainable and renewable technologies such as solar and wind energy and energy efficient construction methods and materials. The equipment needs have been identified by the HEA, in conjunction with SOLAS. 6,500 apprentices are expected to undertake training in an IoT or TU Dublin in 2019.
Minister Mitchell O’Connor said: “I am delighted that over €7.5 million is being invested to support the modernisation of the syllabi and to purchase new equipment for our apprenticeship programmes in our IoTs and TU Dublin. It will ensure that our apprenticeships have the best possible experience, keep pace with new methods and technologies in the workplace and are trained to the highest level possible.”