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Earn while you learn with apprenticeship training

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By Niamh Dwyer, Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors

An apprenticeship combines learning in an education and training institution with work-based learning with an employer, in a company or organisation.

At least 50% of apprenticeship learning is completed in the workplace and apprenticeships lead to nationally recognised qualifications. Apprenticeships are open to school leavers, mature learners, career changers, women and men with diverse backgrounds, talents, skills and abilities. They are ideally suited to individuals who want to learn practical and technical skills and who prefer learning-by-doing. Recent figures show that the number of people involved in apprenticeship training increased to 24,212 in 2021, with a record 8,607 new registrations in that year.

Types of apprenticeships

Currently there are 62 different apprenticeships available across multiple sectors, with 17 more in development and because they are industry-led, apprentices gain the most up to date and relevant skills for the jobs market. Apprentices ‘earn while they learn’ – they have an employment contract and are paid a training allowance or salary for the duration of their apprenticeship training. 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. 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. The ‘off-the-job’ aspect of training in these programmes can vary between day/block releases, online and blending learning. Salaries for those starting off in these apprenticeships start at approximately €18,000. One such example is the IFS (International Financial Services) apprenticeships which offer two year programmes for individuals who have an interest in pursuing a career in the Financial Services sector. Applications are currently open on www.ifsapprenticeships.ie to applicants who have completed Leaving Certificate or equivalent and close on March 31 at midnight.

Entry Requirements

To become an apprentice applicants will need to be hired by a SOLAS approved employer, company or organisation. Entry requirements differ across the various apprenticeship programmes, for some a Junior Cert qualification and entry age of 16 will suffice, while others require a Leaving Cert qualification or equivalent with an entry age of 18. Apprenticeship training varies in length depending on the programme, lasting between two and four years.

Where to find out more

Specific details of each apprenticeship including contact details for further information are available on www.apprenticeship.ie. It is really useful to link in with the local Education and Training Board, for example Kerry ETB. Follow @apprenticesirl on social media 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. A designated guidance service on apprenticeships is available from 12pm-6pm, Monday to Friday, by calling the Freephone number 1800 794 487.

Kerry College is running an Apprenticeship Information Evening this coming Thursday (March 24) from 5-9pm at their Monavalley Campus (V92PW50). This is an ideal opportunity for anyone interested in apprenticeships to meet hiring employers and apprenticeship providers, find out what how it all works, chat with employed apprentices and get practical advice and insights from instructors.

Niamh Dwyer is the chairperson of Kerry Branch of the Institute of Guidance Counsellors. She is also the founder of My Career Plan, a careers advisory service for teenagers and adults. See www.mycareerplan.ie for details or follow @mycareerplan on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

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Do facial treatments hurt?

It can be difficult to book your first facial, as you aren’t sure what your skin needs or what’s involved, but don’t worry, as that’s our job to make it […]

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It can be difficult to book your first facial, as you aren’t sure what your skin needs or what’s involved, but don’t worry, as that’s our job to make it an easy process.

One of the most asked questions I get asked is do facials hurt? The short answer is no, but I have to admit it depends on your skin type and what is required. Squeezing black heads isn’t the most comfortable moment during a facial, but we always have the skin well prepared, exfoliated and softened, and use steam to open the pores. Mostly a facial is super relaxing and comfortable.

Summer weather tends to bring with it oily skin and breakouts, but it’s often less acne prone in the winter. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be getting regular facials throughout the year however. The best way to see the benefits of a facial is to get them consistently. A good facial will have the products tailored to your skin type.

You have nothing to loose but excess oil and dead skin cells. I have a feeling men are more sensitive than women as they always ask about the pain involved first!

Give me a call to book in or if you’ve any other questions ring 064 6632966.

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Plan ahead for College Open Days

Niamh Dwyer is a Guidance Counsellor in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore. For more careers information see www.mycareerplan.ie or follow @mycareerplan on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

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By Niamh Dwyer, Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors
 

The College Open Day season for 2023 entrants starts in earnest in early October.

From then on, the Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) and Agricultural colleges will showcase what they have to offer to potential students. Further Education Colleges tend to host their open days from January onwards. Thankfully HEIs are back to hosting in-person open days but many are offering more specific information sessions on particular courses and departments virtually. College Open Days give students and parents a great chance to find out lots of interesting and detailed information about courses of interest and the many supports available, as well as giving the opportunity to get a feel for the college by availing of campus tours. You will find a complete list of the open days in the events sections of www.qualifax.ie and on www.careersportal.ie so take some time to make a list of the ones you want to attend.

Prepare and plan 

Do some basic research on the courses on offer. Check the entry requirements for each course of interest as you will need to meet these to be eligible to compete for a place on the course. Check out the modules and whether Erasmus or travel abroad options are available, as well as work placement. Don’t ignore a course or open day because you don’t expect to get enough points. You may do far better than you anticipate.
Have a good look at the college website – register for the open day in advance, download the schedule of talks and make note of the ones you want to attend. Make sure to download a map of the campus so you know exactly where to find the talks and presentations of interest. Jot down any questions you have as you will hopefully get a chance to talk to college staff and/or current students. Plan to arrive in plenty time as there are likely to be very large crowds attending. On the day, try to gather information about accommodation, clubs and societies and student supports. Many HEIs run talks for parents and on grants, HEAR (Higher Education Access Route) and DARE (Disability Access Route to Education) so check them out. Make sure to get contact details for any staff members which may be important later for follow-up questions.

Atmosphere

There is nothing like a College Open Day to give you a sense of what the campus feels like. Soak up the atmosphere and consider if the size of the campus is the best fit for you. Larger campuses can be intimidating for some students while exciting for others. Smaller campuses can feel more comfortable and manageable. You will know what feels right for you. Bear in mind that open days have a festival feel to them and regular college days are not always like that. This may be your only chance to visit the campus before you register there as a student so make the most of your day and enjoy it!

Niamh Dwyer is a Guidance Counsellor in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore. For more careers information see www.mycareerplan.ie or follow @mycareerplan on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

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