BellTime Magazine BellTime 11-5 - Page 8

Further Education & Training - Where will it take you? When it comes to you choosing a career path, the route that traditionally comes to mind is full time study in either a college or university. While many of you will take this route, there are other options if you don’t fancy the high cost of university or if you want to jump straight into a paid career. apprenticeships and traineeships are excellent for those who want to pursue a career in certain occupations. Over the next 5 years, plans to significantly grow these modes of learning are in place and these will have many benefits to both the learner and the employer. Work based learning initiatives such as Education & Training Boards (ETBs) have a range of adult and further education centres and colleges delivering education and training programmes. There are 16 ETBs located across Ireland and the one in your community offers many work-based learning initiatives for different occupations. These include many innovative apprenticeships, traineeships and post leaving certificate (PLC) courses. 5 FACTS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT APPRENTICESHIPS 1) You get paid! As an apprentice, you are an employee of an organisation that has signed up to participate in an apprenticeship programme. Therefore, you are paid a salary from when you start including the days you spend in college. You will also be treated like a regular employee of the company in that you’ll get a certain number of paid holidays per year. 2) College comes to you: Much of your learning (at least 50% and up to 80%) will take place while you are on- the-job in the workplace therefore gaining practical work experience. A structured training programme will be in place and your organisation will allocate a mentor to you to ensure you get this training. The off-the-job phase takes place in college. Programmes last between 2 – 4 years. Apprentices are assessed on a structured on-going basis throughout their apprenticeship therefore not everything is based on a set of final year exams. 3) You get a nationally-recognised qualification: Apprenticeships are recognised nationally and internationally. Upon successful completion of an apprenticeship you will acquire a recognised qualification from Level 5 Certificate to Level 10 Doctorate in a specific occupation. 4) You can choose from a wide variety of industries: Apprenticeships are industry driven. This means industry have heavily influenced the design of these new programmes – subjects you study and assessments you complete will have been developed in conjunction with some of Irelands leading employers. With over 40 apprenticeships now available, including apprenticeships in traditional craft areas, apprenticeships are now possible in new occupations such as Commis Chef, Auctioneering & Property Services, Craft Butcher and Original Equipment Manufacturing. Many other apprenticeships are in development including Wind Turbine Technician, Arboriculture, Sales, Hairdressing and Scaffolding. 14 5) A world of opportunities awaits you: Getting into employment earlier means there is potential for you to progress in your career quickly. Should you wish to continue to higher education, ETBs will have defined pathways to degree programmes in 3rd level colleges. If after completing your apprenticeship you would like to progress to higher education your local ETB can advise you of these progression routes and what types of programmes you can enrol on. Equally, bringing your qualification to a 3rd level college, they will be able to advise you of any exemptions you may have if you wanted to start a new programme with them. For those of you wishing to travel, an apprenticeship can be seen as your passport to the world. Your qualification is globally recognised and because you have a combination of both work experience and an academic qualification, you will be seen as “work ready” and highly employable. APPRENTICESHIPS BellTIME Apprenticeships are seen as a respected alternative to the traditional full-time college or university programme. They are not just for school leavers however - you can apply at any age if you want to retrain, move into another area within your organisation or change your career completely. Apprenticeships are mutually beneficial, providing relevant working experience and skills to the apprentice and talented, dedicated young professionals to the organisations. Apprenticeships are valued by employers because they create employees who have relevant work experience and have developed 21st century skills - collaboration and teamwork, creativity and imagination, critical thinking and problem solving – all required by organisations both nationally and internationally. Shane McGearty, Craft Butcher Apprenticeship, 2018 Intake “I chose to do the Craft Butcher apprenticeship because I have an interest in food and because I want to make a career in butchery. I enjoy learning about the production of food and the skills involved in butchery. A regular day on the job you will see fresh meat being prepared, unique dishes being made, a great atmosphere, and a lot of great banter between staff and customers. A regular day off the job involves learning different skills - health and safety in the workplace, food safety, manual handling. Personally, I’m finding the programme very enjoyable. I found that the only challenge I have encountered was that coming up to Christmas time the butchery business is very busy. I find that the programme is taught at a good pace and is very enjoyable. I would highly recommend an apprenticeship because you are learning a trade that will stand by you for your whole life, it is a great practical way to learn and you can work abroad as apprenticeships are recognised internationally. My plan for after my apprenticeship is to do a business course and one day hopefully open a butcher shop of my own. First thought I want to work abroad as a butcher before I open my own shop” Amy Phelan, Aircraft Maintenance Apprenticeship, Shannon, 2018 intake “I’m currently undergoing a 4 year apprenticeship in order to become an aircraft engineer. It is a great apprenticeship as it is a very varied course, and likewise, once qualified, can lead to a diverse range of career options. I’ll have the possibility of working in many different areas such as maintenance on aircraft, in the engineering and planning department or in aircraft leasing. I am employed, through this apprenticeship, with Aer Lingus which is a great organisation to learn, work, and progress in. Before I started this apprenticeship, I studied French and Spanish in college. I really enjoyed my course but knowing that it would lead to a job sitting in an office every day didn’t appeal to me. Since starting the apprenticeship, I’ve had a lot of opportunities to work with my hands and learn new skills. I think before considering any apprenticeship, remember that it’s not like college and it’s not like work. It’s the best, and worst, of both worlds. You won’t have long summer holidays to go travelling, but it’s also a great way to avoid paying college fees as you will be paid throughout your apprenticeship. My honest opinion to someone considering an apprenticeship is to think about it, and to definitely go for it if you’re interested as it definitely won’t be wasted time; you will learn a myriad of new skills.” 15