An Annual Student Contribution (ASC) is levied on all students attending Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) including those relevant to apprentices - namely the Institutes of Technology (IoTs) and Technological University Dublin (TU Dublin) as well as private providers such as the National College of Ireland. The amount of ASC charged to apprentices is calculated on a pro rata basis of the time spent in the institution during the academic year. In cases where training is delivered in an Education and Training Board there is no contribution made by the apprentice.
For craft apprenticeships, the ASC charged is pro-rated to the €3,000 ASC paid by students attending for the full academic year and so amounts to approximately €1,000 per apprentice per period spent in the IoT/TU Dublin. Craft apprentices typically spend two blocks of time (Phase 4 & 6) in a HEI. In the case of the new consortia led apprenticeships the contribution varies for each programme as their off-the-job training has a more flexible structure.
The removal of the ASC for apprentices in full would result in an estimated cost of €4.8 million per annum to the State. A 50% reduction in the ASC for apprentices would cost an estimated €2.4 million and a 20% reduction in the ASC for apprentices would cost an estimated €960,000.