Wednesday, 3 March 2021

Questions (621)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

621. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science further to Parliamentary Question No. 679 of 24 February 2021, if he will clarify the situation further in respect of apprentice trade examinations (details supplied); if exams will be on-site and paper based; and if not, if they will be online only. [12101/21]

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Written answers (Question to Further and Higher Education)

SOLAS, the Higher Education Authority (HEA) and education and training providers are working to plan a phased return of craft apprentices to complete essential practical elements of Phase 2, 4 and 6 training and to undertake assessments.

The phased return to on-site practical provision within further and higher education and training institutions will help ensure the safe return of apprentices, instructors, lecturers and support staff in line with public health guidelines and is being undertaken in consultation with staff. Apprentices who are currently assigned to off-the-job training will complete their period of off-the-job training some weeks later than originally planned to facilitate a carefully planned and phased approach.

SOLAS and the HEA contacted apprentices, employers and relevant apprenticeship training providers on Friday, 26th February to update them on the current situation. Apprentices were also notified that their training provider and SOLAS will contact them with details in relation to when they are scheduled to return onsite to complete their practical training and assessment once the position is clear in relation to their class.