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.



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To become an apprentice in one of the crafts marked with an asterisk (*) applicants must pass the Ishihara Colour Vision Test (24 Plate Edition). For further information, contact the Apprenticeship section in your local Education and Training Board.

Existing Standards Based Craft Apprenticeships

The SOLAS Standards Based Apprenticeship is a system of employment focused training and education which enables an individual to obtain the knowledge, skills and competencies required to perform effectively as a craft person in industry, and to seek progression through further education and training within the national framework of qualifications leading to a QQI level 6 Advanced Craft Certificate.

SOLAS has the responsibility for promoting and overseeing the training and education of all the apprentices in the current designated 27 crafts.  A national standard is delivered for each craft based on the occupational analysis of that craft, written as key learning outcomes and structured in modular format.  The 27 designated crafts are as follows:

·       Agricultural Mechanics * ·       Aircraft Mechanics *
·       Brick and Stonelaying ·       Carpentry & Joinery
·       Construction Plant Fitting * ·       Electrical *
·       Electrical Instrumentation * ·       Electronic Security Systems *
·       Farriery ·       Floor & Wall Tiling *
·       Heavy Vehicle Mechanics * ·       Industrial Insulation
·       Instrumentation * ·       Metal Fabrication
·       Motor Mechanics* ·       Painting & Decorating *
·       Pipefitting ·       Plastering
·       Plumbing * ·       Print Media *
·       Refrigeration & Air Conditioning * ·       Stonecutting & Stonemasonry
·       Sheet Metalworking ·       Toolmaking
·       Vehicle Body Repairs * ·       Wood Manufacturing and Finishing
·       Mechanical Automation and Maintenance *


*  A person wishing to become an apprentice in one of the trades marked * must pass a colour–vision test approved by SOLAS.



To become an apprentice the individual must satisfy the minimum entry requirements; obtain employment in their chosen craft with an employer that is approved to train apprentices by Solas.  The minimum educational entry requirements are as follows:

Grade D in five subjects in the Junior Certificate or an approved equivalent.


the successful completion of an approved Pre-Apprenticeship course.


be over 18 years of age and have at least 3 years work experience since the age of 16 in the relevant designated craft as deemed acceptable by SOLAS.


How to Apply

If you are a learner requiring further information in relation to an Apprenticeship or if you are a business that would like to participate in the Apprenticeship Programme, please contact one of our Senior Training Advisors:

Kilkenny Area Carlow Area
Virginia Bohan Trevor Sinnott
087 1220882 087 6832633


New Apprenticeships

New-style apprenticeships have been introduced for a number of industry sectors, some of which include:

·       Accounting Technician ·       Baker
·       Commis Chef ·       Industrial Electrical Engineer