Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD has today announced a new gender-based bursary for apprenticeship employers.
The bursary, which is worth €2,666, is available to employers who employ apprentices on any national apprenticeship programme with greater than 80% representation of a single gender.
The new gender-based bursary is being implemented with effect from 01 January 2022. It covers all new apprentice registrations from that date on eligible national apprenticeship programmes.
Speaking today, Minister Harris said: “This is a key recommendation of our Apprenticeship Action Plan.
“There are currently 41 apprenticeship programmes that are predominately male.
“This bursary aims to right those wrongs by incentivising employers to expand their horizons, challenge the preconceptions that certain programmes are for certain genders.
“This bursary is in addition to the Government supports that apprenticeship employers receive via the craft training allowance and the employer grant. So if you are a leader in construction or engineering, an electrician or a plumber, you could receive an additional €2,666 if you take on a female apprentice.
“There are still only 270 women craft apprentices, or 1% of the craft population. There are 5 craft apprenticeship programmes with not a single woman, and 11 craft programmes with less than 5 women. We need to move the dial.
“There is only one apprenticeship predominately female. So, if you are a hairdresser and take on a male apprentice, you can receive the bursary too.”
The bursary to eligible employers will be paid in two instalments. €1,333 is payable following completion of 6 months training by the apprentice. The second payment of €1,333 is payable following completion of 18 months training by the apprentice.
The gender-based bursary is being introduced as part of the national Action Plan for Apprenticeship 2021-2025.
Mary-Liz Trant, Director of the National Apprenticeship Office said: “This additional incentive for employers is really welcome as we open up apprenticeship opportunities for learners of all backgrounds.
“At the moment only 1,500 or 6% of apprentices in Ireland are women. In the construction and engineering fields that percentage is even lower. We want to see really strong take up of the bursary among employers, with increased diversity benefitting our 21st century industries.”