€8 million of capital funding will be used to support apprenticeship programmes in ten Institutes of Technology (ITs), the Department of Education announced this morning.
The funding will allow the Institutes of Technology to buy equipment and prepare construction sites for the expansion of apprenticeship programmes. The new syllabi will cover 13 existing apprenticeship trades from 2018 onwards, including aircraft maintenance, brickwork, and industrial installation.
The investment will support approximately 2,300 new apprentices who will begin their programmes in 2018. The government plans to double the number of new apprentices to 9,000 by 2020 and expand into new areas. Budget 2018 allocated €122 million towards apprenticeship training, a 24% increase from 2017.
Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) will receive the most funding, amounting to just over €3 million. IT Sligo, IT Carlow, and Waterford IT will each receive between €750,000 and €1 million. The remaining ITs will be granted between €250,000 and €500,000 of funding.
Minister for Education and Skills Richard Bruton, the Minister of State for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor, and Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation and Research and Development John Halligan T.D announced the €8 million of capital funding for Institutes of Technology this morning.
Announcing the funding, Minister Bruton explained that apprenticeship registrations fell by 80% during the recession. Bruton hopes to reverse this by developing existing apprenticeship programmes and expanding into new industries.
“Today’s investment will enable Institutes of Technology across the country to purchase equipment and update their infrastructure so that they can deliver a new modernised syllabi,” said Bruton. “Building strong pathways to education is key to delivering on our ambition to make Ireland’s education and training service the best in Europe by 2026.”
Minister Mitchell O’Connor added that “the further roll out of new apprenticeship syllabi, and this additional funding, will enable the institutions to ensure that apprentices are getting the most up-to-date and industry relevant programmes available”.
Earlier this year, DIT, IT Blanchardstown, and IT Tallaght applied for designation as the first technological university (TU) in Ireland. The Technological Universities Act 2018 outlines that technological universities will engage in industry-focused research and provide professionally-oriented programmes in science and technology.