Friday, 6 September 2019

Ceisteanna (339, 340, 341, 342)

Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire

Ceist:

339. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Education and Skills if new apprenticeship programmes developed since 2017 will receive the same allowances for apprentices attending college as apprenticeships developed prior to 2017. [35264/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire

Ceist:

340. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of new apprenticeships developed since 2017. [35265/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire

Ceist:

341. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of apprentices enrolled per apprenticeship programme developed since 2017. [35266/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire

Ceist:

342. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Education and Skills if equality of allowances will be sought for apprenticeships in budget 2020; and if so, the estimated cost. [35267/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 339 to 342, 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.

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, 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, 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. 

Details of apprentice population per new apprenticeship programme introduced since 2016 as requested by the deputy are set out in the attached 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

87

BIOPHARMACHEM

Laboratory Analyst

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

Laboratory Technician

n/a

n/a

14

17

Total

n/a

n/a

14

17

Electrical

Industrial Electrical Engineering

12

31

54

57

Total

12

31

54

57

ENGINEERING

Manufacturing Engineering (Level 6)

n/a

39

73

82

Manufacturing Engineering (Level 7)

n/a

36

55

57

Polymer Processing Technology

n/a

23

38

46

Original Equipment and Manufacture (OEM)

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

Total

n/a

98

166

185

FINANCE

Accounting Technician

n/a

71

146

182

Insurance Practice

67

138

197

198

International Financial Services Associate

n/a

14

25

27

International Financial Services Specialist

n/a

14

24

25

Total

67

237

392

432

FOOD MANUFACTURING

Butcher

n/a

n/a

7

22

Total

n/a

n/a

7

14

HOSPITALITY

Chef de Partie

n/a

n/a

27

32

Commis Chef

n/a

25

105

90

Sous Chef

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

Total

n/a

25

132

122

ICT

ICT Associate Professional Network Technician

n/a

n/a

22

54

ICT Associate Professional Software Developer

n/a

n/a

38

68

Cybersecurity Associate

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

Total

n/a

n/a

60

122

LOGISTICS

Logistics Associate

n/a

n/a

27

30

Grand Total

79

391

904

1,045

*Latest figures as of 31st July 2019