Deputy Fergus O'Dowd.
TD for Louth and East Meath, Fergus O'Dowd, confirmed today that the Apprenticeship Incentivisation Scheme will be extended until mid-2021 due to the success of the initiative so far this year.
Deputy O'Dowd said however that just that 12 businesses in County Louth have applied to date for the scheme but he hopes that many more will consider accessing the scheme to support apprenticeships as we face into a difficult period with Covid 19 and Brexit.
The scheme ensures businesses who take on an apprentice are paid €2,000 per apprentice and another €1,000 if the apprentice is still on the books after a year.
“This is a good model" O'Dowd said, "it allows a person to earn and learn and allows businesses to train recruits and get some payment for it.
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“Minister Harris is developing a new Action Plan for Apprenticeship but the scheme has offered a lifeline to many businesses seeking to take on apprentices and security for the apprentice.
“SOLAS have also moved to simplify employer access to apprenticeship through a relaunched website at www.apprenticeship.ie where employers can find information on participating in apprenticeship or, indeed, discover how to kick-off the development of new apprenticeship programmes.”
Speaking today, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris said: “Covid-19 has upended all our lives. While the challenges the crisis presented are unprecedented, they also open up unique opportunities for us.
“In this week’s Budget, we secured a package of €118 million to help thousands of you reskill and retrain in areas where we need more workers or where there is potential for future employment.
“One area we will focus on is the area of apprenticeship. We have also secured funding to expand training courses in retrofit skills to 1,500 people per annum. We will extend programmes to include 500 places for people in search of employment in this developing area as well as providing more places for people in the construction sector.
“2020 has been an incredibly difficult year for businesses and people with us all having to adapt to new ways of working. We will also roll out a new climate action upskilling scheme through Skillnet Ireland. Skillnet programmes are industry led. Courses will be designed by industry, for industry and will give businesses the skills to adapt to a sustainable, low carbon economy.
“So log on to www.gov.ie and find out more.”
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