Guide to Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships in Ireland have been undergoing a bit of a change of late.  Good news is there are a lot more opportunities now.  Our youth Information team in Crosscare have put together a rough guide to introduce you to the basics, but the important thing to know is that you can contact us if you have any specific questions that we can help you with.

Feel free to download and share our Guide to Apprenticeships


What is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is the term used to describe a period of training where you learn mostly on the job, mixing blocks of college work with full time employment. As an apprentice you will earn as you learn.  You will be paid for your work and you will gain internationally recognised qualifications.



A pre-apprenticeship course is for young people who want to do an apprenticeship but don’t have the minimum entry requirements.

These courses have both hands-on and classroom based modules, and aim to develop skills, knowledge and expertise to gaining an apprenticeship in a range of trades or industries.  For information you can contact us or SOLAS.

Craft Apprenticeships

Craft Apprenticeships are coordinated by SOLAS.

Entry requirements:

There are different entry requirements depending on the sector and job.

  • Be at least 16.
  • Have a minimum of five D grades in the Junior Cert or equivalent (QQI level 3/4).
  • In reality, however, many employers would prefer to take on those with a Leaving Cert or equivalent.

If you can’t meet these criteria, you can still become an apprentice if you:

  • Complete an approved pre-apprenticeship training course.
  • Are over 16 and have worked for at least three years in a relevant industry that SOLAS approves and have competed a successful assessment interview.

Female Bursary

To promote the entry of women into the designated apprenticeships, SOLAS/ETBs offer a bursary as an incentive to employers  to encourage them to recruit more women.  More information can be found on the old FAS website


Occupational Apprenticeships:

There are new apprenticeships available in areas such as;


NFQ level 5 to 9 is offered through the individual industries.  There are different entry criteria depending on the sector and job.  The most common way is through the Leaving Cert, however there are also other ways to meet the criteria.  Individual Sectors have different application dates and methods.

Where to find apprenticeships:

To help find employers Careers Portal have a great list of where to find potential employers here.  Also keep an eye on their ‘news’ section which details current opportunities some of which are apprenticeships.  They also have a lot of information about existing apprenticeships including training and entry requirements.
You can also contact the relevant professional bodies such as the Accounting Technicians of Ireland, Insurance Practitioners of Ireland etc.  A quick tip would be to join their mailing list, keep and eye out for recruitment drives and talk to potential employers.
Call into your local to SOLAS and make an appointment to talk to someone about apprenticeships. Check with SOLAS for details of employers that are looking for an apprentice.   Also their website gives advice on how to find apprenticeships etc.
If you are interested in Construction you can register your interest and create an account with also see their vacancy page for current opportunities.

You can also check out vacancies online with Jobs Ireland.

Quick tip – keep at it and be persistent!


For more information download and share our Guide to Apprenticeships


If you can’t find the information that you need about apprenticeships we are here to help you. You can find us in our office in Bray at St Bricin’s on the Herbert Rd, or in The Seomra Youth Centre. We are also in The Vault youth Centre each week, and can be contacted through the youth workers in Newtownmountkennedy and Kilcoole.

Our phone number is 01 2050502, or you can email  You can also find us on Facebook or Twitter



Apprenticeships and other current opportunities

In our Facebook and twitter pages we have being making people aware of a number of Apprenticeship and training opportunities happening just at the moment. This post is just a quick round up of the different opportunities that are currently on offer



At the moment there are national recruitment campaigns happening for both the ESB and for Eir, while a new occupational apprenticeship has just been announced.

The ESB are recruiting Electrical Apprentices.

You need to be over 16 as of 1st June 2017 and have a minimum of a Junior Cert with Grade C (ordinary level)  in 5 subjects which must include Irish or English, Maths, Science (although this can include Technology  Home Ec and some other subjects)

Closing date for applications March 30th 2017

Further details can be found here

Note: YouthSpin hopes to host talks aimed at young people given by ESB staff. These will take place in the coming weeks in Bray and Arklow. Details will be advertised on our Facebook page, Twitter and through local groups when we have confirmed details.

Eir are recruiting Telecommunications Field Technician Apprentices

This is a two year apprenticeship, mostly field based. So applicants need to have a full driving licence before the end of April 2017. They need to have passed 6 subjects in the Leaving Cert or the LCA (Must have maths)

Closing Date for applications April 9th 2017

Further details can be found here


Bus Eireann & Dublin Bus – Heavy Vehicle Mechanical Apprenticeship

Bus Eireann & Dublin Bus are recruiting for their 2017 Apprenticeship programme.

You must be 16 by August 1st

Candidates must have obtained the following minimum standards at the time of applying.

Grade C or higher at Ordinary Level in the Junior Certificate (or equivalent) in one sitting in the following subjects:

  1. Irish or English
  2. Mathematics
  3. Science Subject (Technology, Art, Craft & Design, Technical Graphics, Materials Technology (Wood), Home Economics or Metalwork).
  4. Any two other subjects

(Grade D or higher on higher level papers is acceptable)

Closing date is APRIL 1st

Further details are available here

Atlantic Aviation Group Aircraft Maintenance Apprenticeship

If aircraft and engineering are your thing, then this might be the opportunity you’ve been waiting for.  The scheme isn’t actually open just yet, but it will be very soon

If you might be interested you need to like or follow them on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. They will be advertising it through their social media rather than normal ways, so their Facebook etc is the best way to find out about their different courses.
For the apprenticeship, you have to be over 17 and have a good Leaving cert.

Further details can be found here or downloaded here


Polymer Processing Technologist apprenticeship

The latest of the new ‘occupational’ apprenticeships has been launched. It is called a ‘Polymer Processing Technologist apprenticeship’. In simple terms, working with plastics and plastic moulding to produce plastic and polymer products for different industries.

polymer appUnlike the traditional apprenticeships the minimum education is Leaving Cert and the training goes all the way up to level 7. The training takes place in Athlone IT and online through Sligo IT

Unlike traditional apprenticeships where you would do a block college session, apprentices in this scheme would need to attend one day a week, while working for 4 days.

Apprentices will need to find companies that are willing to take on apprentices in order to apply. (Plastics Ireland have a map of all the different factories etc that are producing plastics and polymers.)

Further details can be found here


Note – there is a bursary available for employers hiring women as apprentices.  This can be up to €2600 for 28 weeks.

Further information found via SOLAS here

Trainee programmes

Air Traffic Controller Programme

If you have considered a career as an air traffic controller then maybe a place in the Student Controller Programme would be of interest.

Applicants must be at least 19 years of age. They must also have passed at least five subjects in the Leaving Certificate (including Mathematics) with Grade C in at least two higher level papers or hold a comparable award at Level 5 on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ).

Note these are the minimum requirements. There is a series of follow up assessments and tests that follow the initial application.  aii logo

Closing date is 15th March

Further details can be found here


Red Rock training Scheme

To gain some real life experience of working on the set of a TV Drama, the makers of the TV Programme Red Rock are offering 6 week work placements in a variety of production  departments

Age or educational requirements are not mentioned, but applicants should submit a CV and covering letter. Red-Rock-21-june

Closing date for applications March 17th 2017

Further details available here

Other ongoing training

Carnew Training and Development Centre are holding a number of courses that start in the coming weeks


Bray Area Partnership run a number of courses, such as Safe Pass, Barista Training and ECDL.

bap logo


The Defence Forces are currently recruiting for the Army and Navy.

Army applicants must be at least 18 years old and under the age of 25 years of age on the closing date for applications.

Naval Service applicants must be at least 18 years old and under the age of 27 years of age on the closing date for applications.

No formal education qualifications are required to join the Defence Forces as a recruit. However, you must satisfy the Interview Board and the Recruiting Officer that you possess a sufficient standard of education for service in the Defence Forces

Closing date for applications is April 5th

Further details available here for the army and here for the navy


Note: YouthSpin hopes to host talks aimed at young people given by Defence Forces personnel. These will take place in the coming weeks in Newtownmountkennedy and Arklow. Details will be advertised on our Facebook page, Twitter and through local groups.



Leaving Cert Results – What Next?

Ok, so you’ve got  your results, and the initial shock, happiness, despair or whole range of emotions have settled. What happens next? What are your options? Our free resource is available for you to download and share outlining important dates and some of your options for your next steps.

Download our Leaving Cert Results – Whats Next? publication



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If you haven’t already applied for a student grant, it’s not too late. The deadline for priority applications was in July, but applications can still be accepted, although they will not be processed until those received in July are sorted.

You can apply through SUSI, and you can get more information through our publication, The Rough Guide to Student Grant 2016.


Apprenticeships Are Back? You’re Hired!

Apprenticeships are back!!  Semi state bodies and large organisations are recruiting apprenticeships, and this month there are a number of apprenticeship opportunities available. We will look at Apprenticeships in greater detail in future posts, but for now, we just wanted to make you aware of some organisations recruiting right now.

Over the past few weeks we’ve highlighted the following apprentice opportunities on our Facebook page.

Eir (formally Eircom)eir logo

Applicants must have passed 6 subjects in the Leaving Cert, be willing to move, as you might be based anywhere in the country.

You will need to have a full driving licence on or before April 2016.

The application process involved online aptitude tests.

Closing date for applications 31 March 2016

Its a 2 year programme leading to a Level 6 QQI Telecommunications Access Networks Technology Major Award

Click Here for further details about the Eir Apprentice Programme 2016

Bus Eireann  are taking on Apprentice Heavy Vehicle Mechanics in Dublin and arobus eireann picund the country.

Applicants must be 16 (by August 1st 2016) and have achieved 5 grade C in ordinary level in the following subjects in their Junior Cert – Irish or English, Maths, A science subject (Technology, Art, Craft & Design, Technical Graphics, Materials Technology (Wood), Home Economics or Metalwork) and 2 other subjects (where grade D in higher is acceptable)

There is also an aptitude test that needs to be taken to make a short list for interviews.

Closing date 10 April 2016

Click here for further details about Bus Eireann Heavy Vehicle Mechanics Apprentices


The ESB APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAMME for 2016 is now open.

ESB logo

Applicants need to be over 16 (on 1st June) with training starting in the autumn of 2016 based in the ESB Training Centre in Portlaoise.

You must have a minimum Junior Cert with particular grades. You can read more about the requirments in the link below.

Closing date for applications is April 4th, and the applications must be done online using the link below.

You can call ESB on 1890 393939 between 9am and 5pm for more information.

Click here for further details about the ESB Apprenticeship Campaign 2016

defence forces

Not really an apprenticeship, but very similar. The army, navy and air-force are all now accepting applications for Officer Cadetships.


Cadets are being recruiting for the following areas

Army Line
Army Equitation
Air Corps Pilot
Naval Service Operations
Naval Service Electrical Engineer
Naval Service Marine Engineer

You must be aged between 18 and 28yrs of age.

Educational requirements vary from 3 Grade 3C in Higher Level Leaving Cert papers to a degree (depending on what area you wish to apply for)

Full details of the cadetships, the selection process, what is expected from cadets, and pay rates etc are all available from the link below

Closing date for applications is April 17th 2016

Click here for further details about the Officer Cadetships in the Defence Forces 2016

Watch out for more information about apprenticeships

We post details of apprenticeships on our Facebook page and Twitter accounts as soon as we hear about them, as we regularly get asked about becoming an apprentice. So please like or follow us at and to keep updated.

Over the next few months we in YouthSpin and our colleagues in Crosscare Youth Information Service will be looking in more depth at apprenticeships. We’ll explore what they are, how to get on them, and what to expect when you are doing one.

Time to Move? Finding out more about European opportunities!

There are plenty of educational, employment and personal opportunities right by our doorstep, if only we knew how to access it all. Europe offers young people opportunities beyond that which they can normally access in Ireland. Maybe now is the time to explore what Europe has to offer.

Time To Move?

The ‘Time to Move?’ campaign is an information week to inform young people about the Eurodesk network, and the opportunities it can connect you with. During the week 13th – 19th October a series of promotional events will happen.

As part of the campaign there is an Instagram photo competition, a writing competition and a public speaking competition, each with its own set of prizes.  To enter the competition people can upload entries to Instagram with the hashtag #eurodesk_timetomove, or upload to their facebook page.   There are 2 first prizes of 22 day continuous InterRail Global Pass. The writing competition gives people a chance to have their work placed on the European Youth Portal. Finally in Ireland there is a ‘Soapbox’ public speaking competition inviting young people to speak about the subject ‘The Internet does more harm than good’, with a first prize of €1000 and a trip to Brussels.

Across Europe there will be a number of promotional events taking place to promote the Eurodesk network as the video below explains.

So, what is Eurodesk?

Eurodesk Logo

Eurodesk Logo

The Eurodesk network of youth information offices aims to connect young people with youth information professionals in 1200 offices across Europe. In Co Wicklow the Eurodesk Network can be accessed through the YouthSpin office in Bray, or online at

So basically, if you are thinking, of traveling to Europe for pleasure, for educational or work purposes, or are interested in getting involved with the European Voluntary Service, then Eurodesk can help you with all of that.

Tell me more about the European Voluntary Service (EVS)

EVS allows people to take part in long or short term voluntary experience in another European country. Participants can get help here in Ireland before they even decide where they might want to go. Eurodesk can link people up ‘Sending agencies’ who will support participants with training and preparation long before they are ready to travel, including help with language issues. EVS will then fund up to 90% of travel costs, they will supply a monthly allowance, and people on short term experiences claiming social welfare, can have their payment protected under their 2 week ‘holiday payment‘.  EVS will help organise that. All of that is of course secondary to the experience of a lifetime, working in another country on a project of your choice, learning all about the culture and life of that country.

Not just for ‘Time to Move’ week!!

Watch out for events happening near you, or maybe enter one of the competitions but don’t feel that if you are reading this at any other time of the year that you have missed the boat. Eurodesk operates all year long, as does YouthSpin. Pop into your local youth information office and ask about Europe. Maybe its time to become an Irish-European?