Recent developments in apprenticeships have resulted in exciting opportunities for both school leavers and learners to simultaneously gain a qualification and work experience over a two to four-year period.
Apprenticeships are now offered from level 5 to 10 on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) in industry sectors such as hospitality, Information & Communications Technology, engineering and construction.
Other learning opportunities will be available in areas such as: healthcare, equine science and agriculture, providing even more possibilities for people to gain a qualification while in employment. In short, more prospects to earn while you learn.
There are many benefits of an undertaking an apprenticeship in Ireland:
• Apprenticeships are industry-led by groups of industry and education partners;
• Apprenticeship programmes provide at least 50% workplace-based learning;
• Flexible delivery – online, blended, off-the-job learning in increments/blocks;
• Preparation for a specific occupation;
• Pathway to an award at Levels 5 to 10 on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ).
The NFQ was developed by Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI). The Framework was designed to bring greater clarity to our national system of education and training qualifications.
Since its establishment, the NFQ and its 10-level structure, have become a visible and well-recognised feature of the qualifications that are available in Ireland. Reflecting a shared understanding of what the holders of qualifications are expected to know, understand and can do, the NFQ represents a mark of quality that means qualifications are recognised at home and abroad.
Apprenticeships can now see how their qualifications relate to other national awards and map a course for future education and training opportunities.
QQI is the quality assurance agency for all further and higher education and training in Ireland, including apprenticeship.
It is an awarding body and is responsible for maintaining the National Framework of Qualifications and for developing and monitoring access, transfer and progression policies for learners within the system.
QQI has a statutory function to promote, develop, implement and review the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ).