Fine Gael Senator Aisling Dolan has urged employers to take on apprentices and avail of new financial supports to do so.
Over 2,500 people have been registered as an apprentice so far this year – higher than the same period in 2019,2020 and 2021.
Businesses who take on apprentices are now entitled to a €2,000 payment - €1,000 in June and a further €1,000 at the end of the year. In addition, employers who take on an underrepresented gender are entitled to an additional €2,666.
Speaking today, Fine Gael Senator Aisling Dolan said: “This fund, introduced by Minister Simon Harris in Budget 2022, is vital to helping business – small, medium or indeed self-employed persons - to cover the costs of apprentices’ salaries, mentoring and training costs.
“Apprentices could be school leavers or career changers and it’s a great way for someone to get practical experience as well as working their way to a Level 5 up to Level 9 qualification. For businesses who are experiencing staff shortages, this could be a new way to boost recruitment and retention by engaging someone living in the local area interested in a career and also achieving a qualification while working with your business.
“There are over 60 courses available in traditional craft apprentices such as construction as well as many industries from tech to biopharma, to engineering, manufacturing, accountancy, auctioneering, hospitality and many more, providing a pipeline of talent for businesses.
“If you are considering the apprenticeship option for the first time why not call freephone helpline for advice on 1800 794 487.
“Fine Gael is prioritising the creation of jobs and apprenticeships right around the county. We want to give young people options, and increasing local employment also helps to revitalise the communities in towns and villages across Roscommon & Galway.
“This fund of €2,000 is going to really encourage small businesses, who are the backbone of our economy in Ireland, to take on apprentices. And also an additional €2,666 to encourage a gender balance, we need more women coming forward in certain sectors like construction, engineering and mechanics ”
Minister for Further & Higher Education, Research, Innovation & Science, Simon Harris said: “Employers are key to us reaching our apprenticeship targets. We have introduced a new support - a grant of €2,000 for every apprentice taken on.
The portal to apply for the grant is now open. You will receive €1,000 initially and an additional €1,000 later in the year. All you have to do is log on to www.apprenticeship.ie, apply and get your grant.
The grant will be paid in arrears in 2 payments annually, with €1,000 payable mid-year and a further €1,000 at year-end. For 2-year apprenticeships, employers are eligible to claim up to €4000 over the period.
For 3-year apprenticeships employers are eligible for up to €6,000 and up to €8,000 on a 4-year apprenticeship.
Employers who believe they are eligible for the grant but who have not yet registered for Apprenticeship Online can contact firstname.lastname@example.org to register.
Employers will be able to complete the user-friendly online application process in minutes, confirming their contact details, a pre-populated list of their current apprentices, their bank details and tax clearance details. It is intended that completed applications will be processed in a matter of days, with employers receiving the grant directly into their bank account