Businesses in Kilkenny city and county should apply for the Apprenticeship Incentivisation Scheme which is now being extended until mid-2021 due to its success, Fine Gael TD, John Paul Phelan, has urged.
Deputy Phelan said: "I am delighted to receive confirmation from the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD that the Apprenticeship Incentivisation Scheme is being extended for businesses to apply to it.
“So far just six businesses in Kilkenny have applied for the scheme, which is designed to support employers to continue to recruit apprentices during the immediate Covid-19 period.
“It ensures that businesses who take on an apprentice are hired at €2,000 per apprentice and another €1,000 if the apprentice is still on the books for a year.
“This is a good model. It allows a person to earn and learn and allows businesses to train recruits and get some payment for it.
“Minister Harris is also 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 has 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,” Deputy Phelan concluded.
Minister 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.”