The total number of craft apprentices hired this year across all sectors had surpassed the figures for the entire of 2016 by the end of August this year, by a total of 1,367 - a jump of some 13 per cent.
A further 188 new professional apprentices are also in place this year under the consortia-led apprenticeship heading, bringing the overall increase in apprentice numbers to just over 1percent.
The figures were released by Minister of State at the Department of Education and Skills, John Halligan TD, in response to a parliamentary question las week. He cites a funding boost in relation to apprenticeship training as a major contributory factor in the increase in 2017 apprenticeship numbers. “A total of €69.6 million was spent on apprenticeship training in 2016 ... A budget allocation of €98.7 million has been made available for apprenticeship training in 2017, an increase of over 40%."
The target in the Action Plan for Education is to see a total of 50,000 apprenticeship and traineeship registrations by 2020.
Number of Apprentices by Sector
Construction sector apprentice numbers are up by 457 overall, an increase of 20.32 per centon the 2016 numbers. The highest increase is for apprentice plumbers (up 225 from 1,032 to 1,259), followed by apprentice carpenters (up 148 from 881 to 1,029).
Electrical sector figures show the highest overall increase, up 758 on 2016, from 4,158 apprentices to 4,916 so far in 2017. Of these, the majority are electrical apprentices (4,099). Aircraft Mechanic apprentice numbers are down 13 on the 2016 figure, from 146 to 133.
Engineering apprentice numbers are up by 77, whilst a total of 76 more apprentices were taken on across the motor sector so far in 2017 than in the whole of 2016, equating to an increase of just over 3%.
Apprentice agricultural mechanics have increased slightly on 2016, with 148 apprentice agri mechanics in 2016, and 152 by August 31, 2017. Apprentice agricultural mechanics makes up less than 1.5% of the total number of apprentices across the board each year. In relation to the motor sector, agri mechanics make up approximately 6.5 per cent of the total number of apprentices within the sector.
Number of Female Apprentices
The number of female apprentices remains low across the sectors. A total of just 30 female craft apprentices were taken on in 2017, down three on the figure of 33 for 2016. The new consortia-led apprenticeship figures show a total of 47 females and 141 males. The highest number of female apprentices are seen in the Financial Services apprenticeship (44) followed closely by Insurance Practice apprentices (39).
There were no female agricultural mechanics in either 2016 or up until August 31 in 2017. The highest number of female apprentices are found in the overall electrical sector, with 18 female apprentices in 2017, down one on 2016. Of these, 15 are apprentice electricians, and1 each in electrical instrumentation, electronic security systems, and instrumentation. There is just one female apprentice in the engineering sector so far this year - an apprentice pipefitter.
The full breakdown is available here.
Find out more about apprenticeship opportunities in Ireland here.
The CareersPortal Team