Traditional apprenticeships were available in craft areas, and provided young people with on-the-job training as well as a qualification. There was a heartening 39pc increase in those registering for these between 2014 and 2016. The largest increases were in carpentry, electrical and motor mechanics.

Opportunities for first-year apprentices can be found at any time of year by searching recruitment websites, as well as more specialised websites, such as the Construction Industry Federation’s apprentices.ie. Spring is the time when many large organisations begin the recruitment process. The ESB is currently inviting applicants to register an interest for a recruitment drive that will begin in March. Other organisations that have recruited in the past include Iarnród Éireann, Dublin Bus, Bus Éireann, Bord na Móna and Audi, to name a few. The Defence Forces have also begun recruiting regularly, including for apprentice positions.

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