There has never been a better time to consider undertaking an apprenticeship. Under a new Apprenticeship Action Plan being finalised by the Department of Further and Higher Education it is planned to increase annual apprenticeship registrations from approximately 6,000 in 2019 up to 10,000 by 2025. A budget has been allocated to provide an extra 1,450 places in 2021.
Apprenticeships are open to school leavers, older learners, career changers, women and men with diverse backgrounds, talents, skills and abilities. They are available across multiple sectors and because they are industry-led, you will be gaining the most up to date and relevant skills for the jobs market. A new integrated credit system, which is due to be finalised by 2022, will mean that anyone who completes their apprenticeship will be able to build on their qualification and progress in education if they wish to do so. The training model in delivery of apprenticeships means that a minimum of 50% is delivered on the job which differs significantly from college courses.
Types of Apprenticeships
Most people are familiar with the craft apprenticeships often referred to as the ‘trades’. There are 25 of them categorised under motor, electrical, construction and engineering. In each case they last approximately four years and are made up of seven phases which alternate between on-the-job training with the employer and off-the-job training which generally takes place in an Education and Training Board (ETB) Training Centre or an Institute of Technology. Unlike full-time college courses, apprentices are paid a training allowance which increases each year from first to fourth year. Typically the minimum entry requirements are that you must be over 16 and have achieved five passes in the Junior Cert, but some do look for Leaving Cert or equivalent.
In 2016 a number of ‘new’ apprenticeships were developed across 15 different industry sectors including finance, ICT, biopharma, arboriculture, hairdressing, hospitality and food, insurance, logistics, property services, recruitment and sales. Apprenticeships being offered in each sector are varied and more are being developed each year. They last for between two and four years and the ‘off-the-job’ aspect of training can vary between day/block releases, online and blended learning. Salaries for those starting off in these apprenticeships begin at approximately €18,000.
Where to find out more
Applicants often ask where to find out about what apprenticeships are available and there are a number of sources that are useful. At the moment www.apprenticeship.ie will give you all the specific details of each apprenticeship including who you should contact for further details. It is really useful to link in with your local ETB. Follow them on social media along with @apprenticesirl as they regularly post adverts from companies and organisations that are recruiting apprentices. Check vacancies on www.apprenticeshipjobs.ie. Keep an eye on career websites such as www.careersportal.ie, jobs boards, and media outlets locally and nationally. Think about your own network – lots of people hear about apprenticeships from friends, family, colleagues, neighbours and acquaintances. Let people know that you are interested in an apprenticeship and you may just link up with an employer who is in the market for someone who is hardworking, practical, can think independently and eager to develop workplace skills. The bonus is that by choosing apprenticeships, you will be earning while learning!
Chance to win a house in Killarney and support Kerry GAA
The Kerry GAA County Board has launched a ‘Win A House draw’ for a new house in Killarney . Funds raised by the draw will go towards the running expenses of the various Kerry football and hurling teams. The three-bed house is located in the Ceide Spris development just off the Park Road is built […]
The Kerry GAA County Board has launched a ‘Win A House draw’ for a new house in Killarney
Funds raised by the draw will go towards the running expenses of the various Kerry football and hurling teams.
The three-bed house is located in the Ceide Spris development just off the Park Road is built to modern energy standards, it represents a fantastic opportunity for people to get involved at a cost of €100 which will go a long way to supporting Kerry GAA.
“As a volunteer-based organisation, we have always had to fundraise to support our teams and clubs. We are delighted to be in a position to have a dream house available for a lucky winner,” Kerry GAA PRO Leona Twiss.
“While only one person can win the house, there will be plenty of cash prizes and match tickets to be won along the way. The sooner you purchase your ticket, the better chance you will have at winning those additional prizes.”
To enter the draw visit: https://www.kerrygaa.ie/winahouseinkerry/
More great choices for large shrubbery
Following last week’s article on large shrubs, I received many comments, suggestions and questions, leading me to believe that there were quite a few people unsure of what to plant in a large space. I felt at the end of the article there were definitely more plants for that list so here are some […]
Following last week’s article on large shrubs, I received many comments, suggestions and questions, leading me to believe that there were quite a few people unsure of what to plant in a large space.
I felt at the end of the article there were definitely more plants for that list so here are some more great choices for the large shrubbery.
The bottlebrush, or Callistemon, is named appropriately for the shape of its flowers which are bottle-brush like spikes of many small flowers with long stamens, giving it that brush like appearance. Usually red, they are also available in yellow and pink. They flower in summer and into autumn adding a lovely splash of colour. Their leaves are hard and spiky with arching branches. Cut them back immediately after flowering or they will not flower the following year. If they do grow out of hand, they will tolerate a hard cut back.
Ceanothus, or the Californian lilac, is an often evergreen shrub bearing dark blue flowers. There are several sizes from the low creeping C. repens, to the tree like proportions of C. thyrsiflorus. An ideal candidate for the large border is C. ‘Gloire de Versailles’, which has large blue flowers from July to the end of autumn, (deciduous), or C. ‘Southmead’ which has dark blue flowers in early spring (semi-evergreen), or C. ‘Blue Mound’ which has deep blue flowers (evergreen). I find with all ceanothus that their flowering times seem to be very weather dependant!
Forsythia is a large common shrub which flowers early in spring before the leaves appear. I mention it as it seems to have gone out of fashion completely, though it adds such a fantastic yellow brightness in those dark February days.People often complain that it either grows out of all proportions or that it does not flower. If pruning, do so immediately after flowering. ‘Golden Nugget’ is possibly one of the smaller varieties at a natural five foot.
An unusual, but well worth finding plant is the Sorbus reducta. It is a low 1-1.5m type of mountain ash, with all the great features of its larger tree relatives! It forms a thicket – yes, it does sucker, but does not take over, has white flowers followed by dark red berries which fade to a creamy colour. Like most mountain ashes, its autumn colour is blazing!
Butterfly bushes, buddleja, are a much maligned plant as it can self seed and become a bit of a nuisance. However, it does not really self seed much in gardens where the conditions are not ideal, (ideal conditions – derelict, dry, stony waste land). Most cultivated varieties are sterile, so there is no reason to avoid them! B. colvilei is a very unusual variety, being semi-evergreen with large panicles of tubular dark pink flowers – these clusters can reach up to 20cm. B. davidii is the common butterfly bush and is available in a range of colours such as ‘Black Knight’, deep, deep purple, ‘Empire Blue’, blue flowers with orange centre, ‘Royal Red’, deep pink/maroon. One of my favourites is ‘Harlequin’ which has variegated leaves. There is a range of smaller butterfly bush available too; the ‘buzz’ series.
These remain compact, up to 1m, however their flowers are not quite as impressive! To remedy that, plant breeders have come up with a new variety – the ‘Rocketstar’ series. I have only just planted one, but it promises a diminutive 80cm with the same large flowers as large varieties have. If this plant does what its creators claim, it will certainly be a hit in my garden!
Checklist for CAO Change of Mind
Many of you are still working your way through the Leaving Cert exams but with the CAO Change of Mind deadline approaching on July 1, it is really important that you take some time to look at the details of your CAO application, particularly your course choices. This is the last opportunity for you […]
Many of you are still working your way through the Leaving Cert exams but with the CAO Change of Mind deadline approaching on July 1, it is really important that you take some time to look at the details of your CAO application, particularly your course choices.
This is the last opportunity for you to make changes before the final deadline at 5.15pm on tha day. It has been a challenging two years, with lots of uncertainty and so much has been out of your control. What is within your control now is how you finalise your CAO choices to ensure that you give yourself the best chance of securing a place on a course you want in September. Leaving Cert results will be issued on September 3 with CAO Round 1 Offers out on September 7. To use the Change of Mind facility you simply log on to www.cao.ie, click on ‘My Application’ and log in with your CAO number, date of birth and account password.
As you review your CAO choices in the coming weeks, use the following checklist as a guide:
* Have you checked your Statement of Application email from CAO and verified that all your details are correct including personal, educational and exemption details?
* Have you included courses on both sides of the CAO (Level 8 and Level 7/6). This gives you the best chance of getting two offers when the Round 1 Offers come out – the top choice that you qualify for on each list. You will then have to choose which one you prefer.
* Have you filled in as many of the 20 choices as you can? You have the option to fill up 10 on both sides, giving you 20 possible options for college in the new academic year. By filling all 20 choices you give yourself 20 chances of getting a college place.
* Have you checked the Alert Lists on www.cao.ie? Lots of new courses have been added in several colleges since the CAO Handbook was published last September, some very recently. You can add these courses in by checking the course code on the Alert List.
* Have you taken out courses that you are no longer interested in? Lots of students rush the application ahead of the February 1 deadline with the intention of coming back to look at the course choices more closely. It is not unusual for students to completely change their minds between February and July 1.
* Have you researched the detail of any course that you are including on your CAO application – take particular note of entry requirements and modules. By doing so you are giving yourself the best chance of choosing courses that you are able for, that suit you and that you are interested in.
* Have you listed your courses in Order of Preference? This is the golden rule of CAO. No one knows what the points will be for 2021 until the day the Round 1 offers come out and equally you won’t know your results of exams and/or accredited grades until September 3. My advice is don’t try to second guess either of them and before 5.15pm on July 1, make sure that your course choices are listed in Order of Preference!
* Have you applied the HEAR and/or DARE schemes or completed the HPAT exam? If so you will know the outcome of your applications on June 29 and the result of the HPAT exam is expected around the same time. This may influence your decisions around your choices.
You have had a challenging senior cycle, all the more reason to look ahead to a brighter future. Take time to review your CAO course choices, research your options outside of CAO and make an informed decision about the best next step after the Leaving Cert!
In next week’s column I will be answering your questions about CAO Change of Mind and offer stage so please send them to email@example.com or DM me on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook on @mycareerplan1.
Niamh Dwyer is a Guidance Counsellor in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore, Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors and Careers Advisor at www.mycareerplan.ie.
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