Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.

We asked David Fleming from Defence Forces to give some advice for people considering this job:

David Fleming

Sub Lieutenant - Navy

Defence Forces

Read more

David Fleming
Learn about the Naval Service – look at the website, visit a ship alongside a port when they are open to the public, talk to any friends/family in the Naval Service, ring the Recruiting Office.

The Investigative person will usually find a particular area of science to be of interest. They are inclined toward intellectual and analytical activities and enjoy observation and theory. They may prefer thought to action, and enjoy the challenge of solving problems with clever technology. They will often follow the latest developments in their chosen field, and prefer mentally stimulating environments.
Career Interviews
Sector Profiles
School Subjects (LC)
College Courses
Study Skills
Work Experience (School)
CV & Interview Preparation
Craft Apprenticeship Training
logo imagelogo image
Craft Apprenticeship Training

Currently all craft apprenticeship programmes are of 4 years duration, except for Print Media, which is 3 years. Apprenticeship programmes are typically distributed over 7 phases of "on the job" and "off the job" training as follows:

The main providers of off-the-job training are ETB training Centres and Institutes of Technology. Two Colleges of Further Education also provide these phases.

In practice, much more time than the minimum shown above is spent in the workplace over a 4-year period.

The apprentice is required to follow a specific course of training and to undergo a series of assessments to confirm that the required standards have been reached.    

Video: Women in Trades Network Ireland


Technical Training (Off-the-Job) 

This form of training involves learning practical skills together with the theoretical elements including maths, science, technical drawing (where applicable) and personal development skills. Apprentices will be required to pass a series of Modular Assessments (tests) throughout this training. These will consist of practical tests, short answer and/or multiple choice knowledge tests and coursework assessments. An examination fee is paid to Institutes during phase 4/6.

Practical Training (On-the-Job) 

This form of training is with the employer where the apprentice gets practical training and experience of doing the job. In addition to the skills and knowledge gained, the apprentice will develop competence, confidence and the ability to perform to industrial standards. The apprentice will be assessed on the ability to perform specified tasks to pre-set standards.  


The apprenticeship system is a modular standards-based system generally comprising of 7 alternating phases of on-the-job and off-the-job training and development. These alternating phases of training consist of 3 off-the-job and 4 on-the-job phases. The duration of the 3 off-the-job training phases does not normally exceed 40 weeks.

Exceptions to this are the apprenticeships in Floor and Wall Tiling, which has 5 phases of training and follows the minimum 4-year cycle and Print Media which has 5 phases and follows the minimum 3-year cycle.

The off-the-job phases are delivered by a Training Centre, an Institute of Technology or another approved training provider. The key factor in delivery of an off-the-job training phase is that it is delivered in a single training environment to ensure the integration of practical training with the necessary theoretical and personal skills. (Links to training course providers are available below)


The apprenticeship cycle is deemed to be complete when the Results Approval Panel approves that the apprentice has successfully achieved the required qualifying standard, completed all of the alternating on-the-Job and Off-the-job phases of her/her apprenticeship and served the minimum apprenticeship period as specified by SOLAS from time to time. An Advanced Certificate Craft (Level 6 on the National Framework of Qualifications) is awarded to successful apprentices.


Phase 2, 4 & 6 training is currently provided by the ETB (formerly FAS) training centres and Institutes of Techology (IOTs).

Phase 2 takes up to 20 weeks. Phase 4 takes 10-11 weeks and Phase 6 is also 10-11 weeks training.

Apprentices are assigned to a training provider by SOLAS. Apprentices have no choice in where they are sent for the off-the-job training phases of their apprenticeship.

Below is a list of off-the-job training providers for information purposes. 


Phase 2 off-the-job training providers: ETB training centres
Dublin & Dunlaoighre ETB - Baldoyle; Finglas; Loughlinstown; Tallaght.

Baldoyle Training Centre - runs two Phase 2 courses for Construction Plant Fitters twice a year from January to June and July to November.

Finglas Training Centre - currently provides Phase 2 apprenticeship training for Electrical, Plumbing, Sheet Metal Worker, Motor Mechanic and Carpentry & Joinery

Ballyfermot Training Centre

Cavan / Monaghan ETB

CMETB currently delivers Phase 2 Electrical apprentieship training. FIT ICT apprenticeship training is also deliered here. Upcoming apprenticeship traning  includes HGV Driver, OEM Engineering Technology and the Accounting Technician Apprenticeship training.

Cork ETB
Donegal ETB
Galway / Roscommon ETB GRETB currently delivers Phase 2 training in Carpentry & Joinery; Electrical; Metal Fabrication; Motor Mechanic at the GRETB training centre in Mervue Business Park.
Kerry ETB
Kilkenny / Carlow ETB
Longford / Westmeath ETB LWETB delivers Phase 2 training for specific trades at Athlone Training Centre.
Louth /Meath ETB LMETB delivers apprenticeship training for Carpentry & Joinery Electrical; Metal Fabrication; Motor Mechanics; Pipefitting Plumbing; Toolmaking; and Wood Manufacturing & Finishing at the Regional Skills Training Centre in Dundalk.
Waterford / Wexford ETB WEETB Waterford and Wexford Training Centres deliver a variety of apprenticeship training courses.
Phase 4 & Phase 6 off-the-job training: Institutes of Technology and Further Education Colleges*
  • AIT 
- Department of Engineering Trades - click here
  • CIT 
- Trade Apprenticeships - click here
  • DIT 

- Apprenticeship training in the designated trades - click here

- Information on Electrical Apprenticeship - click here

  • DFEI*
- Apprenticeship training in the Designated Trades - click here
  • GMIT
 - Apprenticeship Education courses - click here
  • ITB 
- Apprenticeship Training - click here
  • IT Carlow 
- Apprenticeship Courses - click here
  • IT Tralee 
- Engineering Apprenticeship - click here
  • LIT 

- Craft Apprenticeship Training - click here 

- New Industrial Electrical Engineer 


For those interested in being trained as an apprentice, towards ensuring that you are in with the best possible chance of being accepted for an apprenticeship when an opportunity arises - there are a number of Further Education Courses available which are designed to equip participants with the initial skills needed for the particular apprenticeship area. These are called pre-Apprenticeship training courses:

Approved Course Providers

DIT offers a two-year Level 6 course in Building Management in which participants develop some of the skills offered through apprenticeship such as bricklaying, plastering, painting and decorating See DT170 here.

Useful Links
Women in Trades Network Ireland - WITNI 
WITNI is a place where you can ask questions and be exposed to stories from female professionals and apprentices within the industry. Where you can discover more about training and employment options that currently exist