Tuesday, 11 November 2008
Dáil Eireann Debate
Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment (Deputy Mary Coughlan): The apprenticeship programme is a training and development programme, which provides apprentices with the skills, knowledge and competencies leading to the award of an advanced craft certificate. The programme involves the development of practical skills and related theoretical knowledge over a seven-phase programme — three off-the-job phases and four on-the-job with an employer.
Apprentices undertake modular assessment during each off-the-job phase. FÁS records show that most of the 9% of apprentices who do not succeed in their phase 6 evaluation, fail to achieve the required standard in their theory assessment. Apprentices’ mathematical abilities are assessed as part of this theory assessment. There are currently 766 apprentices who have not yet achieved the required standard.
Apprentices can re-sit the examination and are encouraged to undertake additional learning in the interim. FÁS and the Institutes of Technology have provided refresher courses for such apprentices including courses specifically in Maths. In addition FÁS have established a project team to examine issues related to the maths and science component of the apprenticeship programme. FÁS is currently examining how redundant apprentices can continue to receive their on-the-job training with the support of employers.
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