Apprenticeship schemes – what they involve ?

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Apprenticeships are “employer led” – meaning that in order to get an apprenticeship, you must persuade an employer to register you as an apprentice.

Employers must  be approved by SOLAS to take on an apprentice.

Once you have been registered, you will commence you seven phases as outlined below.

Most construction apprenticeships involve seven phases. 3 of these phases are through the training provider and 4 are on the job with an employer/ construction company.

The entire apprenticeship process generally takes approximately 4 years.


The phases of the construction apprenticeship schemes work like this.

Phase 1 – This is on the job with the employer and generally lasts for a minimum of 3 months. During this phase the apprentice will be introduced to the training programme and will also receive initial training in health and safety, tools and equipment and the basic skills of their chosen apprenticeship.

Phase 2 – The next phase of the apprenticeship is based in a training center. It will generally last up to 20 weeks (5 months). Apprentices will receive tuition in their chosen construction skill, covering the techniques involved and related theory.

Phase 3 – The apprentice returns to their employer and receives further on the job training for a minimum of 6 months. They will receive work based assessments during the course of this phase.

Phase 4 – The apprentice spends the next 10 to 11 weeks in a training center or college based environment. Further information and techniques are explained and demonstrated to the apprentice and they are once again taught the related theory.

Phase 5 – Another 6 month minimum is spent with the employer, where the apprentice will receive further work based assessments.

Phase 6 – This is the last off the job element of the apprenticeship programme. This also lasts for a period of 10 to 11 weeks. The final set of skills, techniques, procedures and other requirements are taught to the apprentices, along with the theory each of these elements involves.

Phase 7 – The final step of the apprenticeship scheme involves one more stint lasting at least 3 months with the employer. Again this will focus on work based assessments.

The apprentice will only be able to progress through the various phases of their apprenticeship if they:

Attend all the off the job training phases

Pass all the off the job assessments

Pass all the assessments carried out while with their employer

Ensure the results of their employer are returned to SOLAS on time.

Once they have completed all these steps, the apprentice will have qualified in their chosen skill.


What will I get paid ?

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