Young people all around the country are turning their thoughts to life after school and making plans for future careers. For some, this may mean applying through the CAO for third-level studies at university. But for many others, there is a growing area of opportunity in apprenticeships.
What’s new in apprenticeships?
Recent developments in apprenticeships have resulted in exciting new opportunities for apprentices to earn as they learn. In 2019, new apprenticeships in hairdressing, retail supervision and sales were added to the list of 13 apprenticeships awarded by QQI, with more planned for 2020.
A week in the life of an apprentice
Generally, you will spend four days a week working as a regular employee, being paid while you learn and entitled to annual leave and other benefits. The remaining day is spent in college, acquiring knowledge to complement your on-the-job learning.
‘Earn as you learn’ – work as an apprentice
During the four days in work, you will train under an apprentice mentor. Your mentor will guide and monitor your progress in your chosen career, ensuring that you have the necessary work skills and competencies.
The student’s life – study as an apprentice
Once a week, you will live the student’s life – attending lectures, receiving one-to-one instruction, and attending demonstrations. With access to all college facilities, you will have dedicated study time to complete project work, and your college mentor will be on hand for advice and guidance.
Is an apprenticeship right for me?
Embarking on an apprenticeship programme requires a high level of self-motivation, drive and self-discipline, as you navigate through the programme and complete the necessary modules through various modes of learning.
You won’t be alone, however. Most programmes establish a Community of Practice (CoP): a group of people who share a passion for the industry you are joining. Regular interaction through the CoP helps apprentices better understand their job and is a critical element in the apprenticeship journey.
What are my next steps?
Firstly, you must register as an apprentice with an approved employer. Once registered, apprentices are required to participate in an induction session hosted by the (provider) college they will attend once a week.
Finally, employers will organise on-site workplace induction and orientation for new employees. As a full-time employee, you will receive an employment contract.
Here are the exciting, new apprenticeship programmes that have been quality-approved by QQI.
• Advanced Certificate in Accounting
• Advanced Certificate in Original Equipment Manufacturing
• Advanced Certificate in Auctioneering and Property Services
• Advanced Certificate in Computer Networking
• Advanced Certificate in Software Development
• Advanced Certificate in Cyber Security
• Advanced Certificate in Culinary Arts
• Advanced Certificate in Hairdressing
• Certificate in Craft Butchery
• Advanced Certificate in Sales
• Higher Certificate in International Financial Services
• Higher Diploma in Financial Services Analytics
• Advanced Certificate in Retail Supervision
Find out more about all these programmes at irq.ie