DIT creates new programme ‘Access to Apprenticeships’

A pilot programme in Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT), supported by J.P. Morgan and ESB, aims to prepare young people from Dublin’s inner city communities to access apprenticeship positions.

The programme will build on the specific expertise and track record of DIT in the delivery of skills education and in supporting young people into third level education.

The Access to Apprenticeship pilot project is currently in the design and development phase with extensive input from a wide range of stakeholders. The first intake of students will be in September 2017 with 48 students participating in three phases ending in June 2018.

Programmes offered in DIT, from apprenticeship to PhD, are purpose-driven and practice-based and the College of Engineering and Built Environment currently provides skills training across fifteen trades.  With its long history in apprenticeship education, DIT is ideally placed to respond to changing economic and educational requirements and to collaborate with industry partners in creating new approaches to apprenticeship.

Professor Gerald Farrell, Director and Dean of the College of Engineering and Built Environment, is championing the pilot project at DIT: “We are delighted with the support of the JP Morgan Chase Foundation and ESB in helping us to innovate for the benefit of the young people in our communities. We have decades of experience in apprentice education but equally important is our experience in understanding and addressing barriers faced by students from marginalised communities in accessing both education and training that leads to a meaningful career.”

The ‘Access to Apprenticeship’ initiative is part of a global philanthropic investment by J.P. Morgan Chase of $200 million each year to create pathways to opportunity by supporting workforce development, financial capability, small business development and community development in the regions where they do business. According to Carin Bryans, Senior Country Officer Ireland for J.P. Morgan: “We are delighted to support this initiative by DIT to ensure that local young people are ready and competing for apprenticeships, and ultimately skilled jobs, on a level playing field.”

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In Ireland J.P. Morgan supports several programs that help individuals acquire the knowledge, skills and expertise necessary to obtain quality jobs, compete in the global economy and find new pathways to economic opportunity.

ESB is also supporting the programme as part of the company’s Energy for Generations Fund, which disburses €2million each year across a range of initiatives primarily in the areas of educational disadvantage, suicide and homelessness.  ESB Chief Executive Pat O’Doherty says the company seeks to empower and enrich the lives of individuals and communities across Ireland. 

“ESB has a proud history of offering high quality apprenticeships resulting in qualifications mainly in electrical and mechanical trades.  Apprenticeships are an invaluable and very effective means of developing high quality skills needed in a modern economy and ESB is committed to investing in talent to advance young people’s skills and knowledge for a brighter future for them and their communities.  We are delighted to support the DIT ‘Access to Apprenticeship’ programme which will provide local youth with essential skills and knowledge to begin a rewarding career through an apprenticeship.”