The New Tech Apprenticeships

ICT Associate Professional is the new National Apprenticeship Programme for all tech enthusiasts wishing to pursue a career in Ireland’s buoyant technology sector. 

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Over 12,000 jobs are currently available in tech – as highlighted by the recent FIT ICT Skills Audit.  75% of these roles can be facilitated through tech apprenticeship programmes, providing immediate employment opportunities for job seekers and students.

Who is the programme for?

Age: Programme is aimed at 18- 25 year olds but all adults (18+) can apply. 

Qualifications: A minimum of Leaving Cert (or equivalent). All candidates have to meet Aptitudes Assessments administered by FIT. 

Attitude: All candidates should be energetic tech enthusiasts with a determination to work in the ICT sector.

The first six months of the programme involve intensive off-the-job training in a dedicated technology training centre. The remaining 18 months are a combination of on-the-job experience supplemented with training centre instruction. 

All training costs of the apprentices are covered by the State. FIT manages all aspects of the programme and co-ordinates employer input. Participating companies employ the apprentice throughout their apprenticeship and facilitate the on-the-job application of learning. Apprentices hone their skills while contributing to product development, technological advancement and talent development. 

Apprentices employed under contract receive payment to the value of Ä260 – Ä290 p.w. in the first year and Ä340 – Ä385 p.w. in year two. On successful completion of the programme, qualified apprentices typically progress into full-time positions within their sponsoring companies. This enhances the talent portfolio while increasing productivity and competitiveness in those enterprises. 

What is the ICT Associate Professional Apprenticeship programme?

This new programme adopts a learning-by-doing format of ICT skills development, giving new meaning to the concept of ‘hire education’. Over a two year period the programme combines off-the-job skills training with on-the-job application, and culminates in the attainment of the ICT Associate Professional Apprenticeship Award. 

Participating companies are keen to recruit smart people with smart skills and this new programme will enable participants to ‘earn while they learn’. 

In September 2017, FIT was appointed by the Apprenticeship Council to deliver two technology apprenticeships at Level 6 on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFO). A pilot programme was ‘road-tested’ by over 150 leading technology companies who sponsored 249 candidates over a two year period. The feedback from these tech companies on the calibre of talent they attained was exemplary.

What are the key benefits to companies?

• Widen your access to highly motivated tech enthusiasts with bespoke skills 

• Grow tech-savvy teams efficiently 

• Bring fresh thinking and energy to new technology and product development 

• Free up your more experienced staff to do whet they do but 

• Fast-track access to new tech skills

What are the key benefits to apprentices?

• Gain direct experience In a real-time technical environment ensuring increased productivity 

• Acquire an in-depth understanding of the latest technologies supporting Innovation

• Develop business and interpersonal skills such as teamwork, customer-facing skills and project management

The Tech Sector Wants YOU!

People with tech skills are in demand not just in the IT sector – more and more jobs across industry require various levels of proficiency in IT. 

A trend which is anticipated to grow as increasingly companies utilise technologies to manage their activities, market their products, communicate with their customers and increase productivity. 

Emerging Internet of Things (IoT) technologies are creating daily, new industrial sectors, way beyond the prospects of driverless cars, delivery by drones etc., resulting in the creation of new roles, skill sets and career paths across all sectors of the economy, which are expected to grow exponentially in the coming years.

Tech sector needs more women

Tech sector employers are keen to point out that they are seeking more female entrants. Gender balance is seen as key to the future success of companies and they are reaching out to females who can expect to benefit from great work environments with an emphasis on a team approach and support for continuous professional development. 

The career opportunities in tech are both varied and rewarding and there is a strong demand for more women creators, team builders, business developers and leaders. So join in and create the future!

FIT ICT Associate Professional – Software Development

The primary role of a software developer is to be able to build, test and modify high-quality code. A developer will typically be working as part of a larger team, in which they will have responsibility for some of the straightforward elements of the overall project. 

The developer will need to be able to interpret design documentation and specifications. Examples of work include information databases, programs that control robotic systems, and cloud and mobile applications. 

 With experience, you could become a senior developer with responsibility for project management, planning and research, or move into areas, such as systems design, IT architecture and business systems analysis.

Partnership Approach

Peter Davitt, CEO of FIT, explained that the new tech apprenticeships were as a result of a strong partnership approach between government, the tech sector and the national education & training system. 

He praised the role of the Department of Education, the Apprenticeship Council, SOLAS and QQI for providing the policy and implementation structures necessary to enable new apprenticeships to flourish. 

In particular he acknowledged the key role of Education and Training Boards who are partnering with FIT throughout the country in the delivery of the training elements of the tech apprenticeships.

FIT Associate Professional – Systems & Networks

The primary role of a network engineer is to design, install, maintain and support communication networks within an organisation or between organisations. 

Network engineers need to maintain high levels of operation of communication networks  to provide maximum performance and availability for their users, such as staff, clients, customers and suppliers. 

They understand and work in areas such as network configuration, cloud, network administration, security and performance management, and are able to give technical advice and guidance.

Professional Recognition Award: Portfolio of evidence (e.g. logbook, work-related project report) of professional development and applied learning in the workplace mapped to award standards. 

Internationally recognised industry certification selected to match the workplace technology environment e.g. Apple, Cisco, CIW, CompTIA, HP, IBM, Linux, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, VMware etc.

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