Qualifying as a Craftsperson
Apprenticeship is the recognised means by which people are trained to become craftspeople in Ireland. The main craft trades (see Listing) have been designated by FÁS and come within the scope of the Statutory Apprenticeship system, which is organised in Ireland by FÁS in co-operation with the Department of Education and Science, employers and unions.
Apprenticeship is a demand-driven, workplace and classroom, educational and training programme for employed people aimed at developing the skills of the apprentice to meet the needs of industry and the labour market. The Curriculum for each apprenticeship programme is based on uniform, pre-specified standards which are agreed and determined by industry. On successful completion of an apprenticeship, a FETAC Advanced Certificate is awarded; this is recognised internationally as the requirement for craftsperson status.
On successful completion of an apprenticeship an apprentice is eligible for consideration for entry into related degree programmes provided by the Institutes of Technology providing he/she also meets other special entry requirements. Details of the higher education institutes offering progression from FETAC Advanced Certificate - Craft to levels 7 and 8 are available on the FETAC website http://www.fetac.ie/fetac/documents/Progression_from_FETAC_Adv_Cert-Craft_to_HE_Courses.pdf
Apprentices are paid the agreed Industrial Apprentice Wage Rate by the employer (the actual rate paid may vary depending on the occupation and employer). Generally, rates are based on the year and increase during the apprenticeship; details should be checked with the prospective employer. During off-the-job training, all apprentices are paid an Apprentice Allowance by FÁS and, where appropriate, a contribution towards travel or accommodation costs. There are also grants to encourage employers to recruit and register Female Apprentices.
The apprenticeship cycle is deemed to be complete when an apprentice has served the minimum timeframe from the date of registration and has successfully completed all of the alternating on-the-job and off-the-job phases of their apprenticeship. Successful completion of the apprenticeship is a compulsory requirement in order to be awarded the FETAC Advanced Certificate. For further information on Apprenticeships, see Code of Practice, Eligibility, Assessment and Benefits.
Further information about becoming, or employing, an apprentice, contact the Services to Business Office in your local FÁS Training Centre.