QUALIFYING AS A CRAFTSPERSON
Apprenticeship is the recognised means by which people are trained to become craftspeople in Ireland. The main craft trades (see Listing) have been designated by SOLAS and come within the scope of the Statutory Apprenticeship system, which is organised in Ireland by SOLAS in co-operation with the Department of Education and Skills, employers and unions.
Apprenticeship is a demand-driven, workplace and classroom, educational and training programme for employed people aimed at developing the skills of the apprentice to meet the needs of industry and the labour market. The Curriculum for each apprenticeship programme is based on uniform, pre-specified standards which are agreed and determined by industry. On successful completion of an apprenticeship, a FETAC Advanced Certificate is awarded; this is recognised internationally as the requirement for craftsperson status.
Apprentices are paid the agreed Industrial Apprentice Wage Rate by the employer (the actual rate paid may vary depending on the occupation and employer). Generally, rates are based on the year and increase during the apprenticeship; details should be checked with the prospective employer. During off-the-job training, all apprentices are paid an Apprentice Allowance and where appropriate, a contribution towards travel or accommodation costs. There are also grants to encourage employers to recruit and register Female Apprentices.
The apprenticeship cycle is deemed to be complete when the Results Approval Panel approves that the apprentice has successfully achieved the required qualifying standard, completed all of the alternating on-the-Job and Off-the-job phases of her/her apprenticeship and served the minimum apprenticeship period as specified by SOLAS from time to time. An Advanced Certificate Craft (Level 6 on the National Framework of Qualifications) is awarded to successful apprentices. For further information on Apprenticeships, see Code of Practice, Eligibility, Assessment and Benefits.
Further information about becoming, or employing, an apprentice contact your local Services to Business in the Kilkenny ETB Training Centre.