Addressing gender balance and creating ‘real world partnerships are key to developing young industry talent post-Covid.
Professor David Fitzpatrick, president of Technological University of Dublin, said creating access for all was of great importance.
Professor Fitzpatrick was speaking at the Access to the Apprenticeship Graduation and Digital Badge Award which was held virtually in March.
Since 2018, 63 graduates have come through the programme and gone on to apprenticeships – 13 per cent of the graduates were women.
As the class of 2020 showed, work placements are of huge importance, not only for students in gaining real world experience, but also as many of them go onto gain apprenticeships with the same companies they had their work placement with.
This year, 60 per cent of graduates will go on to do apprenticeships with their work placement companies according to Professor Fitzpatrick.
Simon Harris, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science congratulated the graduates for their hard work and dedication, as well as complimenting the programme as it “promotes access, diversity and inclusion.”
“I want you to know I intend to champion apprenticeships because I believe they have the ability to change lives, to change communities and to transform our country,” Minister Harris said.
He also outlined how today’s apprentices have an important role to play in Ireland’s recovery post-Covid, adding that by 2025 the Government aims to register 10,000 new apprentices every year.
Minister Harris also spoke of the continued commitment by companies in supporting apprenticeship programs and embracing the Digital Badge Award.
Ashley Jackson from the class of 2020 spoke of how the course instilled him with confidence, and from day one it was “different and dynamic.”
Chantelle Lee, another graduate echoed Jackson’s comments, saying that the staff at TU has given her a massive dose of confidence.
“We knew you cared,” she said, and it provided her and other students with the confidence and hope to keep going.
Patrick Atkinson from Chadwicks Group and chair of the Access to Apprenticeship Advisory Porgramme said the “programme is the foundation stone on the professional path to professional success.
It gives young people who previously would have no other means of gaining access to apprenticeship that opportunity.”