50 apprenticeship scholarships have been announced by Údarás na Gaeltachta today (31/01/2022) under the Apprenticeship Scholarship Scheme which will allow people in Gaeltacht communities to learn a trade while also earning a living. These scholarships, worth more than €2,000 per scholarship, will support people who wish to take up a trade or begin a new career path now as COVID-19 restrictions are being lifted. The scholarships offer a wonderful opportunity to take up traditional trades which are much sought after at present as well as undertake modern apprenticeships which provide exciting prospects for Gaeltacht communities in biopharma, ICT, engineering, accounting and finance.
Now with COVID-19 restrictions lifting applicants who have completed school will have an even better opportunity to acquire an apprentice qualification recognised by the Apprenticeship Council to learn a trade or undertake a new career. Qualifications are awarded at Level 6 upwards to degree standard in accordance with the national training framework Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI).
Under the scheme, financial assistance averaging at over €2,000 is available to companies/contractors who are willing to employ apprentices during the apprenticeship period. Údarás na Gaeltachta has been running the Apprenticeship Scholarship Scheme for many years in order to support Gaeltacht applicants, with a fluency in Irish, to gain a qualification in any one of the SOLAS accredited Quality Assured Apprenticeship Schemes. The scheme benefits companies and Údarás na Gaeltachta client companies have a long history in supporting apprentices who are learning their trade.
There is a variety of 60 different apprenticeships to choose from in 15 varied sectors, all recognised by SOLAS, which the Gaeltacht community can undertake while meeting qualifying criteria:
|· Property Services
|· Health Care
|· Hospitality and Food
Although traditional trades such as plumbing, carpentry, mechanical and electrical are still very popular, in recent years there has been a significant uptake in modern apprenticeships as more people participate in apprenticeships in biopharma, engineering, financial services, accountancy, computing.
Announcing the Scheme Údarás na Gaeltachta’s Chief Executive Officer Mícheál Ó hÉanaigh stated:
“The Apprenticeship Scholarship Scheme provides a wonderful opportunity to undertake a trade while also earning a living. The scheme boosts the economy and enhances the skill requirements in the Gaeltacht. The high-quality skills and qualifications gives the Gaeltacht community the confidence to undertake learning while strengthening and developing their skills. Although COVID-19 posed challenges for apprenticeships last year, the increase in the number of applicants on the scheme brings a sense a hope and show how valuable the scheme is to Gaeltacht communities and businesses.”
The current call for expressions of interest in the Údarás na Gaeltachta Apprenticeship Scholarship Scheme 2022 is open until the 02/03/2022. Expressions of interest will be made online and all information on qualifying and the application form for expressions can be found at www.udaras.ie