The 'earn and learn' career path is proving popular with school-leavers. The amount of students taking apprenticeships after school has doubled since 2015, from 8,300 to over 16,000.
The bulk of the numbers remain in the traditional trades, but there new apprenticeships offering a chance to get a degree while working in white-collar sectors ranging from accounting to auctioneering and insurance to ICT. A range of new apprenticeships will be unveiled this year ranging from hairdressing to wind turbine maintenance.
The government is due to announce €7.5 million of funding for the country's institutes of technology and, the new Technological University Dublin. This will help modernise and expand apprenticeship options.
Minister Joe McHugh said ensuring young people have access to cutting edge equipment, and the latest thinking on sustainability was key to further developing this increasingly popular option.
Apprenticeships offer fantastic opportunities, and I would encourage any person looking at their career options, especially students preparing to sit exams this week, to strongly consider the many benefits of apprenticeship.
The funding will support the roll out of new apprenticeships in plumbing, carpentry, electrical, brickwork, motor painting and decorating, vehicle body repair, fitting, toolmaking and wood manufacturing and finishing.
Ireland has one of the lowest proportions of students choosing to take up a trade and one of the highest going to third level. Numbers choosing apprenticeships are growing, however, and have recovered from a dramatic fall-off during the economic downturn.