Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Questions (457)

Carol Nolan


457. Deputy Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Education and Skills if apprenticeship fees will be abolished at third level; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32155/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

An Annual Student Contribution is levied on all students attending Institutes of Technology (IoTs).  Previously this Annual Student Contribution was paid by FÁS/SOLAS with apprentices themselves paying the part of the contribution relating to examination fees. As part of Budget 2014, SOLAS ceased making payments to IoTs and apprentices pay the full pro rata Annual Student Contribution.

The amount charged to apprentices is calculated on a pro rata basis of the time which they spend in IoTs during the academic year. This cost would typically be one third of the Annual Student Contribution paid by students attending for the full academic year, currently €3,000 and would amount to approximately €1,000 per student per period spent in the Institutes of Technology. 

There are no plans to abolish the Annual Student Contribution for apprentices. Any change in this regard would be a matter for government and would form part of the normal budgetary process and be considered in the broader context of competing demands and the overall availability of resources.