Monday, 20th August 2018
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Applying to be an apprentice

Q My daughter is leaving school and she is thinking about doing an apprenticeship. How can she qualify for an apprenticeship and how much are apprentices paid?

A An apprenticeship is the recognised way that people are trained in a craft trade or profession. It involves both training on-the-job with an employer and training off-the-job in an education centre.

To be eligible for an apprenticeship, your daughter must be at least 16 and should have at least a grade D in five subjects in the Junior Cert. However, some employers may only take on an apprentice with higher qualifications or may have other requirements. If your daughter doesn't have the required qualifications, she might still be able to do an apprenticeship – she should check with her local Education and Training Board (ETB).

Traditional craft apprenticeships include construction, electrical engineering and motor sectors. For example, there are apprenticeships in carpentry, plumbing, car mechanics and electrical trades. This type of apprenticeship usually lasts for four years. Your daughter should contact the apprenticeship section of her local ETB.

New occupational apprenticeships are being developed in Information and Communications Technology (ICT), medical technology, insurance, finance, accountancy, logistics and hospitality. These apprenticeships last between two and four years. For these, your daughter should apply to the industry lead for the apprenticeship she is interested in. She can also contact the apprenticeship section of her local ETB for information.

While your daughter is training on-the-job, her employer will pay her a recommended apprenticeship wage. If she is training in certain sectors, SOLAS pays a weekly allowance equal to that wage while she is training off-the-job. In all other sectors, her off-the-job payments will depend on her employer, although SOLAS will contribute to travel and accommodation costs. Your daughter can find a full list of apprenticeships on apprenticeship.ie. Compiled by Waterford Citizens Information Service which provides a free and confidential service to the public. Call into 37 Lower Yellow Road or 41 Merchant's Quay or Tel: 076107 6580 Information is also available online at http://www.citizensinformation.ie and from the Citizens Information Phone Service, 0761 07 4000.

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