Wednesday, 3 July 2019

Questions (127, 128, 129, 130)

Mary Butler

Question:

127. Deputy Mary Butler asked the Minister for Education and Skills if all new apprenticeship programmes developed since 2017 will receive the same allowances for apprentices attending college as apprenticeships developed prior to 2017; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28680/19]

View answer

Mary Butler

Question:

128. Deputy Mary Butler asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of new apprenticeship programmes developed since 2017; the number of apprentices that participated and completed these new apprenticeships; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28681/19]

View answer

Mary Butler

Question:

129. Deputy Mary Butler asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of apprentices enrolled per apprenticeship programme developed since 2017, in tabular form. [28682/19]

View answer

Mary Butler

Question:

130. Deputy Mary Butler asked the Minister for Education and Skills his plans to seek equality of allowances for all apprenticeships in Budget 2020; the estimated cost of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28683/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 127 to 130, inclusive, together.

This Government is committed to the ongoing expansion and development of our national apprenticeship system, as is evident by a year on year increase in the budget allocation. This year’s allocation for apprenticeship training is €142m which represents an increase of over 16% on the 2018 allocation of €122m. Since 2015 new apprenticeship registrations have increased by 80% with 5,648 new registrations by the end of 2018. In addition, following two calls for proposals in 2015 and 2017 by the Apprenticeship Council, to date twenty new apprenticeship programmes have been developed and are now operational to complement the existing 25 craft apprenticeships.

These include three chef apprenticeships in the hospitality sector in the occupations of commis chef, chef de partie and sous chef. A further programme in the occupation of executive chef is also in development and due to be rolled out in 2020.

It is important to note that the structure of these new consortia led apprenticeship programmes are different to those in the craft trades. Our new consortia-led apprenticeships offer more flexibility to employers in meeting their skill needs both in the duration of the programme and in terms of the delivery of the off-the-job training. These new apprenticeship programmes vary in length from 2 to 4 years and have different methods of off-the-job training such as one day per week, as is the case with the chef apprenticeships, and on-line blended learning rather than the traditional block release of up to 22 weeks in an education setting, as is the case in the craft trades. While there is no training allowance paid to apprentices undertaking one of our new apprenticeships, I am aware that some employers engaged in the system have raised this as an issue. However, any change in this regard, which has not yet been costed by the Department, would have to form part of the normal budgetary process and be considered in the broader context of competing demands and the overall availability of resources.

In addition to the apprenticeship programmes, there are a range of other programmes available in the hospitality area across further education and training and higher education settings. Similarly, there are employer-led training supported through Skillnet Ireland, such as the Restaurant and Hospitality Skillnet, which was established in 2017, and the Taste 4 Success Skillnet to address skill needs in the sector.

As the new consortia led apprenticeships are ongoing and have not reached completion stage, we do not have a comprehensive database of completion figures. This information will be recorded once submitted by the apprenticeship consortia. Details of apprentice population per apprenticeship programme as requested by the deputy are set out in the following tabular statement.

Apprentice Population

20 New Apprenticeships developed Since 2016

2016

2017

2018

2019*

AUCTIONEERING

Auctioneering & property services

n/a

n/a

52

58

Total

52

58

BIOPHARMACHEM

Laboratory Analyst

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

Laboratory Technician

n/a

n/a

14

15

Total

n/a

n/a

14

15

Electrical 

Industrial Electrical Engineering

12

          31

54

58

Total

12

          31

54

58

ENGINEERING 

Manufacturing Engineering (Level 6)

n/a

          39

73

75

Manufacturing Engineering (Level 7)

n/a

36

55

55

Polymer Processing Technology

n/a

          23

38

42

Original Equipment and Manufacture (OEM)

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

Total

n/a

          98

166

172

FINANCE

Accounting Technician

n/a

          71

146

175

Insurance Practice

67

        138

197

190

International Financial Services Associate

n/a

          14

25

27

International Financial Services Specialist

n/a

          14

24

24

Total

67

        237

392

416

FOOD MANUFACTURING

Butcher

n/a

n/a

7

14

Total

n/a

n/a

7

14

HOSPITALITY 

Chef de Partie

n/a

n/a

27

28

Commis Chef

n/a

25

105

91

Sous Chef

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

Total

n/a

25

132

119

ICT

ICT Associate Professional Network Technician

n/a

n/a

22

51

ICT Associate Professional Software Developer

n/a

n/a

38

63

Cybersecurity Associate

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

Total

n/a

n/a

60

114

LOGISTICS

Logistics Associate

n/a

n/a

27

27

Grand Total

79

        391

904

993

* Latest figure as of the 31st May 2019