Ministers Harris and Collins announce €17 million to expand apprenticeships across higher education  

By Amber Flynn

Posted: 11 December, 2023

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD and Minister of State for Skills and Further Education have today (Monday, December 11th) announced €17 million in capital funding to respond to the growing demand for apprenticeships in the higher education sector.

The funding will be dispersed across four Technological Universities and one Institute of Technology in the higher education sector to deliver in the order of an additional 132 apprenticeship craft training blocks.

This additional capacity is required to meet the increase in apprentice registrations as indicated by SOLAS in a number of trades.

Speaking today, Minister Harris said: “Today’s investment of €17 million will fund the delivery of 132 apprenticeship craft training blocks.

“This will provide additional capacity at Phase 4 and Phase 6 across four Technological Universities in our craft apprenticeships.

“The 132 apprenticeship craft training blocks announced today will support the expansion of registrations across numerous crafts including Electrical, Electronic Security Systems, Pipefitting, Plumbing, Metal Fabrication and Refrigeration & Air Conditioning and respond to a growing demand for learning through apprenticeship.

“This investment reaffirms once again the Government’s strong commitment to enhancing and expanding the apprenticeship system, putting apprenticeships at the centre of the education and training system by building on previous apprenticeship programme funding.

“But it is also critical to Government meeting our housing targets.”

Also included in this investment is an allocation of €220,000 to ensure SETU Carlow can procure all equipment required for delivery of Phase 2 and Phase 4 of their Aviation programme.

Minister of State Niall Collins said: “This Government has been relentless in promoting apprenticeships.

“To meet the demand, we must continuously invest in infrastructure. I am really pleased to see this investment being made across our TUs.

“It will help us grow our infrastructure and meet the demands of our growing apprenticeship population.”

Ciarán McCaffrey, Head of Capital Programmes in the HEA, added: “We welcome today’s announcement of Apprenticeship funding for the higher education sector.

“The investment is key to facilitating a strong pipeline in crucial skills areas through the expansion of craft apprenticeships in trades such as electrical, plumbing, metal fabrication, refrigeration, pipefitting and electronic security systems.

“The HEA looks forward to continuing to work closely with all Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to as they progress these necessary expansion projects.”

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