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Back to Press Releases 27 September 2019

Minister Mitchell O’Connor launches competition at apprenticeship recruitment event

  • Launch of sustainable-futures themed Generation Apprenticeship competition 2020

  • Over 20 employers seeking to fill apprenticeship vacancies

  • Celebration of 2019 World Skills winners

26 September 2019

Minister of State at the Department of Education and Skills, Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD will join more than 20 employers and hundreds of prospective apprentices at the launch of the third Generation Apprenticeship competition, and apprenticeship recruitment event at the Aviva Stadium today (Thursday). The event is being organised by SOLAS in partnership with ESB as part of the Generation Apprenticeship campaign which has already resulted in a significant increase in the number of registered apprentices.

Minister Mitchell O’Connor will announce the expansion of the competition to include post-primary schools, Community Training and Youthreach centres this year. The aim of the competition is to raise awareness of the 50+ apprenticeship programmes now on offer. This year’s competition theme is sustainable futures. Students will be provided with a free tool kit containing materials previously destined for landfill and will be invited to choose between two challenges: to build an A letter structure no bigger or wider than 500mm; or to produce a 3-minute video about apprenticeship in Ireland and how it can help tackle climate change.

The competition launch will be followed by a recruitment event where over 20 companies including ESB, Press UP, Jones Engineering, FIT and Doyle Collection will meet prospective apprentices. With over 16,500 apprentices now training in Ireland on 50+ apprenticeship programmes, more and more employers are using apprenticeship as a means of developing a pipeline of talent.

Speaking at the launch, Minister Mitchell O’Connor TD said: “In Ireland, apprenticeship is a skill multiplier with strong roots and a bright future. Over 16,500 people are currently undertaking an apprenticeship in many different industries. From electrical, construction and engineering roles to information technology and financial services, our apprentices are leading with imagination, creativity and teamwork. The Generation Apprenticeship competition provides a fantastic showcase for apprenticeship as a route to skills development in 21st Century Ireland.

Minister Mitchell O’Connor added: “The competition has attracted the interest of some of the top companies in Ireland who are keen to tap into and understand the next generation of talent.”

“The sustainability challenge underpins this year’s Generation Apprenticeship competition” said Dr Mary-Liz Trant, Executive Director for Skills Development at SOLAS. “In all age groups we see people engaging with issues around climate change. This year’s competition will encourage students to explore the differences that can be made in Irish industry and the education and training system.

We are delighted to continue our sponsorship relationship with both ESB and the Construction Industry Federation. ESB and the construction industry have always been champions of apprenticeship.”

Paul Mulvaney, Executive Director, Customer Delivery, ESB said “For generations, the apprenticeship system has been part of our philosophy and ethos in ESB. Our investment in apprenticeships and in-career training is critical to ensuring that we have the requisite skills to maintain, develop and enhance the electricity system so that it meets the needs of modern Ireland. We are delighted to be associated with the Generation Apprenticeship competition, and to support a recruitment event as part of the launch that will help people to make career connections.”