Two new apprenticeship programmes aiming to address skills gaps and shortages in the biopharmaceutical sector and provide companies with an opportunity to access new talent and increase business growth were launched in late 2018, by the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and the Environment, Richard Bruton T.D. Potential learners will become laboratory assistants and technicians, will have the chance to earn while they learn and will acquire nationally recognised qualifications at EQF levels 5 and 6 (NFQ 6 and 7) upon successful completion.
Cedefop has released new insights on skills and jobs in seven European countries. After several years of development, the agency presents first results of this new type of labour market intelligence, based on information from more than 30 million online job vacancies collected in the second half of 2018 in Czechia, Germany, Spain, France, Ireland, Italy and the UK.
Léargas is the national agency for managing international and national exchange programmes for all education sub-systems, including the post-secondary non-tertiary sector, where most vocational education and training (VET) occurs in Ireland, but not higher education. The agency is owned by the Department of Education and Skills.
In an analysis of further education and training expenditure by Education Training Boards, the Irish Government Economic & Evaluation Service noted that, given the characteristics of the labour market and low basic skills among certain cohorts of unemployed people, it is necessary to equip individuals with the foundations to pursue more specific programmes and meet important education and social objectives. In this capacity, the Galway City Community Training Centre (CTC) (Galway CTC) aims to provide learners with basic skills to progress further in the labour market.
Cedefop organised the second policy learning forum on apprenticeships, a European vocational skills week event, on 18 and 19 October in Thessaloniki.
SOLAS recently published Supporting working lives and enterprise growth in Ireland. This is a new policy framework for employee development opportunities, with the specific aims of supporting working lives and enterprise growth.
A key part of Ireland’s National skills strategy and action plans for education is the expansion of the apprenticeship system, with the aim to increase substantially the number of new apprentices by 2020. To highlight this commitment to the apprenticeship system and the establishment of 26 new national apprenticeships, a marketing campaign was designed to promote the values of the apprenticeship model to both employers and prospective apprentices as a means of launching or developing their careers.
In March 2017, the Irish Government launched a public consultation on a proposed exchequer-employer investment mechanism for education and training interventions in post-secondary education in Ireland. The consultation will examine the feasibility of an increase in the National Training Fund levy from 0.7% to1% by 2020, delivering up to €200 million in additional funding for education and training in the workplace from employers.
Ireland intends to increase the number of learners who undertake work-based learning through the traineeship model.
Following on from the goals and objectives set out in Ireland’s National Skills Strategy (2016) and the Action Plan for Education (2016), the Government announced a call for new apprenticeship proposals on May 8th 2017.