Government opens ICT apprenticeship applications

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Full time, two-year courses advertised for tech apprenticeship programme

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8 February 2019 | 0

The Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe TD, has formally announced that applications are open for the first ICT apprenticeship scheme for government departments and offices.

The initiative is built on the experience of Fastrack to IT (FIT), the national coordinating provider for ICT Tech Apprenticeships, and its successful apprenticeship-based programmes, and is being run in conjunction with City of Dublin Education and Training Board (CDETB).

The two-year, full time programme offers participants the opportunity to develop a career in ICT, with placements in some of the largest organisations in the state.  According to the minister, successful candidates will be placed with a government department to undertake a two year full-time Tech Apprenticeship programme, with a choice of software development or infrastructure and operations. The programme includes on-the-job and off-the job elements, with successful candidates attaining a National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) Level 6 Advanced Certificate in Computer Networking or in Computer Programming, depending on the stream pursued.

“The Civil Service needs to become more innovative in how it finds, develops, retains and maximises the performance of its ICT staff,” said Barry Lowry, government chief information officer and head of Profession for ICT in the Civil Service, “and we are looking at a number of ways to do this. One of the ways is through these new apprenticeships which have the potential to contribute significantly to the long-term staffing needs of the Civil and indeed the wider Public Service.”

Minister Donohoe said the initiative was a cooperative effort with office of the Government CIO and Civil Service HR departments as key part of ICT Professionalisation.

“The Government is committed,” said the minister, “to creating great career opportunities for a broad range of people and this apprenticeship scheme is a new and exciting opportunity for anyone who wants to play a role in delivering on the government’s ambitions for Ireland to be a digital leader. Candidates will receive recognised training, practical experience and an opportunity to earn while they learn.”

“FIT, as the coordinating provider for Tech Apprenticeships,” said Peter Davitt, CEO,  FIT, “is delighted that Government is adopting the apprenticeship model as a means of broadening recruitment into ICT roles within the Civil Service. The ICT Associate Professional Apprenticeship programme was approved as a statutory apprenticeship in 2017 for those wishing to pursue a tech career. FIT is enthusiastic to engage the first apprenticeship intake for the Civil Service and to support their development and progress into government roles requiring tech talent to advance the country’s interests.”

The PublicJobs.ie web site already has positions advertised under the new scheme, with a closing date of 21 February 2019, describing them as “an exciting new opportunity through the new Apprentice ICT Specialist Programme”.

It adds, “The training programme, which is Dublin-based on this occasion, is expected to commence in late April 2019.”

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