A financial incentive scheme for employers to recruit apprentices was launched on Wednesday, August 12th by Simon Harris TD, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science.

There will be a €3,000 financial incentive for employers to take on apprentices and a billboard campaign has been unveiled that will promote the scheme.

Employers can receive an incentive payment for each new apprentice registered between March and the end of the year.

Minister Harris was speaking at the announcement of the winners of the Generation Apprenticeship Competition, a competition sponsored by the ESB and CIF to promotes and celebrates the best teamwork, leadership, creativity and problem-solving skills of Ireland’s apprentices.

He praised the new apprenticeship scheme, saying “It’s a win-win – help develop an apprentice’s potential while you develop your company.”

He said “Over 18,000 people are currently undertaking an apprenticeship across a wide range of occupations from electrical, construction and engineering roles to healthcare, information technology and financial services. Our ambition is to see that number grow and the government provided funding for this new incentive for employers in the July Stimulus package.”

Minister Harris said he was pleased to be launching the incentive at the announcement of the winners of the Generation Apprenticeship competition. He said “These winning teams demonstrate all that is good about apprenticeship and the key part it is going to play in Ireland’s recovery and our country’s future. It is a really exciting option for people of different ages, genders and backgrounds, career changers and school leavers, to forge brilliant careers for themselves.”

Pat O’Doherty, Apprenticeship Council Chairman and Chief Executive ESB, noted that ESB recognises apprenticeships as a valuable way to build critical skills and to attract diverse talent into their business. He said that the qualities of teamwork, leadership, creativity and problem-solving had been seen in the competition, and “These qualities will continue to be in demand as we adapt and innovate to navigate our way through the demands of COVID-19.”

Julia Brick – Reporter