The apprenticeship system is a modular standards-based system generally comprising of 7 alternating phases of on-the-job and off-the-job training and development. These alternating phases of training consist of 3 off-the-job and 4 on-the-job phases. The duration of the 3 off-the-job training phases does not normally exceed 40 weeks.
Exceptions to this are the apprenticeships in Floor and Wall Tiling, which has 5 phases of training and follows the minimum 4-year cycle and Print Media which has 5 phases and follows the minimum 3-year cycle.
The off-the-job phases are delivered by a Training Centre, an Institute of Technology or another approved training provider. The key factor in delivery of an off-the-job training phase is that it is delivered in a single training environment to ensure the integration of practical training with the necessary theoretical and personal skills.
Apprentice Student Contribution
The Annual Student Contribution is levied on students attending Higher Education Institutions including Institutes of Technology. As part of changes included in the Budget 2014, apprentices will now pay the same contribution as full time students but their contribution will be based on the time they spend in the Institutes.
The Student Contribution is payable to the Institute of Technology on the date of registration for the training phase and you should consult the relevant Institute of Technology for payment options.
Apprentices are required to pay an examination fee to the Institute of Technology and College of Further Education for repeat exams.
The apprenticeship cycle is deemed to be complete when the Results Approval Panel approves that the apprentice has successfully achieved the required qualifying standard, completed all of the alternating on-the-Job and Off-the-job phases of her/her apprenticeship and served the minimum apprenticeship period as specified by SOLAS from time to time. An Advanced Certificate Craft (Level 6 on the National Framework of Qualifications) is awarded to successful apprentices.
Generally, the duration of an apprenticeship is a minimum of 4 years, however the Print Media apprenticeship programme follows a minimum duration of 3 years.