Apprenticeships in the designated trades

The Dublin Institute of Technology has a major involvement in and commitment to apprenticeship education and training, and over the years has played an important role in its development. In the 2006/2007 session a total of some 3000 apprentices were enrolled, pursuing 25 different trades in the construction, Engineering and printing industries.

The following DIT trade departments/sections are involved in the provision of apprenticeship courses:

  • Construction Skills
  • Manufacturing Engineering
  • Transport Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Printing and Graphic
  • Communication Bakery

The overall apprenticeship activities in DIT are co-ordinated and monitored by a sub-committee of the DIT Academic Council, supported by the Dean, Craft Education and Training. Members of the committee include the heads of schools and departments/sections involved in the apprenticeship area as well as elected or co-opted teaching staff members.

Amongst the highlights in the calendar of the apprenticeship area each year are the National Skills Competitions. Normally DIT hosts some 12 finals annually for different skill specialisations on behalf of the Department of Education and Science and the candidates are likely to include representatives from other centres as well as from DIT. The overall winner in each Trade Area receives a silver medal from the Department of Education and Science and is eligible for consideration for selection for the national team which represents Ireland in the International World Skills Competition. These prestigious competitions are normally held every second year in different parts of the world and Irish Competitors have performed very well in them to date showing that the standards of craftsmanship of the skilled young Irish workforce are on a par with those in the more advanced industrial countries.

Standards Based Apprenticeship System

The National Training and Employment Authority, FAS, has the statutory responsibility for developing, monitoring and co-ordinating the education and training of apprentices in the country. It does so in partnership with the Institutes of Technology. The education and training of apprentices is through a standards-based apprenticeship system culminating in the Level 6 advanced certificate in a named trade (previously it was the National Craft Certificate) for those who pass the stipulated tests. In future full craft status would only be afforded to those holding this Certificate. The new scheme comprises seven phases of on and off-the-job education and training for each trade taking a total of four years. Apprentices attend a FAS Centre for phase 2, normally of 20 weeks duration full time followed later by attendance at DIT or other Institutes of Technology for phases 4 and 6. This generally involves full-time attendance for ten or eleven weeks for each phase of education and training.

During the different phases, apprentices are assessed on the basis of work projects and other assessments together with standardised practical and theory examinations. However, in line with general DIT policy of providing ladders to higher levels and producing a more fully rounded craftsperson, education and life skill elements are included where possible while meeting the appropriate requirements of phases 4 and 6 of the new scheme.

Trades in the area of printing/graphic communication and aircraft mechanics, phases 2, 4 and 6 are based in DIT Bolton Street, Phases 4 and 6 of the construction and engineering (with exception of electrical) trades are based in DIT Bolton Street, while the electrical and bakery trades are based in DIT Kevin Street.

The Level 6 Advanced Certificate is awarded by the Further Education and Training Awards Council (FETAC). It attests to the successful completion of the standards based apprenticeship programme and is the required qualification for Irish Crafts persons who intend to find work in Ireland and other EU countries as a craftsperson.

How to become an apprentice

Those interested in becoming an apprentice should first check that they have the stipulated basic minimum educational qualifications. They should then seek out a suitable employer having a vacancy for an apprentice in the trade chosen. While the responsibility for securing an apprenticeship rests with the individual or with his/her parents. FAS may be able to assist and those interested should register at the nearest FAS office where further useful information may also be available. It is the responsibility of the employer to register the apprentice with FAS to enable the apprenticeship progress.

With the new standards-based apprenticeship, apprentices must be registered, otherwise they cannot go through the of-the-job phases. Proof is supplied by the Service to industry Section of FAS who supply the Institute with the necessary information on all apprentices.

Accordingly the Institute reserves the right to restrict enrolment in the trade practical programmes to those persons who are registered with FAS and actually employed in several processes and operations of the trade. Employers and/or FAS are kept informed during the session on attendance and progress of apprentices and reports are issued to the students and employers.

Ladders to higher levels for apprentices

Post-apprenticeship programmes are provided by DIT where a demand exists and thus opportunities are made available to proceed to higher level studies.

There are a wide range of part-time education programmes provided by the DIT for which the Level 6, Advanced Certificate (National Craft Certificate) is acceptable for entry and in many cases exemptions from Modules of the part time programmes. Details of these and other programmes are provided in the DIT programme booklets which are available on request.

Students holding the Level 6 Advanced Certificate Awarded by FETAC (National Craft Certificate) are eligible for consideration for entry into related degree programmes provided that they also meet any special entry requirements. A pass in an appropriate subject of the Elementary Technological Certificate Examinations of the Department of Education and Science or an equivalent qualification may be acceptable for meeting any special entry requirements.

Mr. Michael Murphy
Dean, Craft Education & Training

General Enquiries: +353 1 402 3000

Please contact individual schools with any enquiries.

The following courses are available in the Department of Electrical Services Engineering

  • Electrician apprenticeship

The following courses are available in the Department of Construction Skills

  • B851 : Brickworker
  • B853 : Plasterwork
  • B855 : Painter/Decorator
  • B860 : Cabinetmaker
  • B862 : Carpenter/Joiner
  • B865 : Woodmachinist
  • B870 : Plumbing
  • B872 : Refrigeration Craftsperson

The following courses are available in the Department of Metal Fabrication and Welding

  • B844 : Sheetmetal Work
  • B846 : Metal Fabrication

The following courses are available in the Department of Applied Technology

  • B810 : Fitting / Turning
  • B814 : Toolmaking

The following courses are available in the Department of Transport Engineering

  • Light Vehicle Technology
  • Heavy Vehicle Technology
  • Vehicle Body Repair
  • Construction Plant Fitters

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