There was further welcome news for Athlone IT this week with the formal allocation announcement of €260,000 in capital funding to support traditional craft apprenticeship programmes at the third level education facility.
The total figure received comprises of €180,000 towards a motoring apprenticeship programme, while a sum of €80,000 will be allocated towards a plumbing apprenticeship programme.
Recent figures released have noted the number of applicants seeking to start apprenticeship programmes on the increase, with 5,648 registrations in 2018, compared to 3,153 in 2015.
Welcoming the news, local Minister, Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran, noted that the capital funding allocated to Athlone IT reflected the Government’s strong commitment, under Project Ireland 2040, to developing trade skills for young people.
Speaking at the announcement, Minister for Education and Skills, Joe McHugh, highlighted the increase in apprenticeship registrations.
“There has been an 80 percent increase in apprenticeship registrations between 2015 and 2018. This capital funding will enable the relevant Institute of Technologies to purchase new equipment and update their infrastructure.
“Apprenticeships offer fantastic opportunities and I would encourage any person looking at their career options, especially students who are in exam mode, to strongly consider the many benefits of an apprenticeship.
The allocation confirmed for Athlone IT is inclusive of a Government capital funding spend of €7.5 million for nine Institutes of Technology and the Technological University Dublin and supports the roll out of new syllabi for the plumbing and motoring apprenticeship programmes.
It brings to €23 million the total capital funding which the Government has allocated to support the modernising of the craft apprenticeship programmes in the sector since 2017, funds which are being provided by the Department of Education and Skills through the Higher Education Authority (HEA ).