Thursday, 17 October 2019

Questions (70)

Martin Kenny

Question:

70. Deputy Martin Kenny asked the Minister for Education and Skills the way in which funding for apprenticeships was allocated by his Department; and if preference was given to rural areas in such allocations. [30218/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

Apprenticeship training is funded from the National Training Fund (NTF) which is resourced by a levy on reckonabe employment.  There has been substantial  increased investment from the NTF in training those in employment through programmes such as apprenticeship in recent years.  The 2019 NTF allocation for apprenticeship training is €142m which represents an increase of over 16% on the 2018 allocation of €122m.  This will rise to €169 million in 2020.

The off-the-job elements of apprenticeship training provision are planned at a national level by SOLAS and the Higher Education Authority (HEA).  Applications for funding for apprenticeship training are made to SOLAS and the HEA by Education and Training Boards (ETBs), Technological University Dublin and the Institutes of Technology as part of the overall annual further education and training and higher education planning and funding processes.

Apprenticeship is a demand driven educational and training programme which aims to develop the skills of an apprentice in order to meet the needs of industry and the labour market.  While apprenticeships are national programmes, it is the pattern of employer recruitment of apprentices that determines the availability of individual apprenticeship opportunities.  Employers do not receive any funding to recruit apprentices but off-the-job training is planned and funded taking account of where apprentices are employed.

Generally apprenticeships have a good regional spread and the delivery of Action Plan to Expand Apprenticeship and Traineeship is bringing real opportunities for learners and employers throughout the country.  Apprenticeships are available in many sectors that have a strong regional presence such as manufacturing, tourism and hospitality, motor, construction and engineering.