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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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Leona named PRO of the year

By Sean Moriarty She is best known for promoting the county’s GAA news – and now Leona Twiss has been rewarded for her efforts. The Gaelic Games Writers’ Association named […]

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By Sean Moriarty

She is best known for promoting the county’s GAA news – and now Leona Twiss has been rewarded for her efforts.

The Gaelic Games Writers’ Association named Leona as its Public Relations Officer of the Year at an awards ceremony at Iveagh Gardens in Dublin on Friday night last.

Leona has been the PRO for Kerry GAA for the last five years but will have to step down this year due to County Board rules.

“I was speechless, it was wonderful to get PRO of the Year but I am only as good as the team around me and this success is attributed to the hard work of the entire PR team at Kerry GAA,” she told the Killarney Advertiser.

As well as her busy schedule managing the media affairs for the Kerry County Board, Leona is also principal at Cullina National School in Beaufort.

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Any victory for Ukraine is important!

By Natalya Krasnenkova On the eve of the final of the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest, President Zelensky said “Ukrainians need victory – big and small”. That is why Ukrainians who […]

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By Natalya Krasnenkova

On the eve of the final of the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest, President Zelensky said “Ukrainians need victory – big and small”.

That is why Ukrainians who gathered around the world on Saturday night were waiting for Ukraine’s win in the song contest, just like the victory in the war.

The Ukrainians from the Innisfallen Hotel were waiting for that too and the overall winner, Ukrainian band Kalush Orchestra, caused a real emotional storm in the hall!

“After my country’s victory at Eurovision, I felt proud, cried, laughed and couldn’t believe it. I am also grateful to everyone who voted for us, because this victory shows how much most European countries support us,” Iryna Melnychuk said.

“Voting around the world for Ukraine gives us hope for support from the world community not only in the Eurovision Song Contest,” said Stepan Krasnenkov.

The Ukrainian band Kalush Orchestra received the highest number of points from the audience during the entire existence of the competition: 439 points from the audience, 192 points from the professional jury. In the end – 631 points, which brought Ukraine victory.

Also, thanks to the Kalush Orchestra, the whole world now knows about the humanitarian catastrophe in Mariupol and the Azovstal enterprises, where wounded Ukrainian soldiers and civilians are under blockade without food, water and medicine.

After their performance, Kalush Orchestra addressed the audience from around the world with a request to save the defenders of Mariupol, who are at the Azovstal plant.

“Please help Ukraine, Mariupol! Help Azovstal! Right now!” – the band called.

After these words, search queries for Azovstal and Mariupol took off on the Internet as people were looking for what they meant.

Irish Eurovision contestant Brooke also sang it and the whole world sings the song of the winners ‘Stefania’.

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