Apprenticeship is the recognised means by which people are trained to become craftspeople in Ireland. The main craft trades (see Listing) have been designated by SOLAS and come within the scope of the Statutory Apprenticeship system, which is organised in Ireland by SOLAS in co-operation with the Department of Education and Skills, employers and unions.

Apprenticeship is a demand-driven, workplace and classroom, educational and training programme for employed people aimed at developing the skills of the apprentice to meet the needs of industry and the labour market. The Curriculum for each apprenticeship programme is based on uniform, pre-specified standards which are agreed and determined by industry. On successful completion of an apprenticeship, a Level 6 Advanced Certificate – Craft is awarded.  This is recognised internationally as the requirement for craftsperson status.


Apprentices are paid the agreed Industrial Apprentice Wage Rate by the employer (the actual rate paid may vary depending on the occupation and employer). Generally, rates are based on the year and increase during the apprenticeship; details should be checked with the prospective employer. During off-the-job training, all apprentices are paid an Apprentice Allowance and where appropriate, a contribution towards travel or accommodation costs. There are also grants to encourage employers to recruit and register Female Apprentices.

The apprenticeship cycle is deemed to be complete when the Results Approval Panel approves that the apprentice has successfully achieved the required qualifying standard, completed all of the alternating on-the-Job and Off-the-job phases of her/her apprenticeship and served the minimum apprenticeship period as specified by SOLAS from time to time. An Advanced Certificate Craft (Level 6 on the National Framework of Qualifications) is awarded to successful apprentices. For further information on Apprenticeships, see Code of Practice, Eligibility, Assessment and Benefits on

Standards Based Apprenticeship

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The SOLAS Standards Based Apprenticeship is a system of employment focused training and education which enables an individual to obtain the knowledge, skills and competencies required to perform effectively as a craft person in industry, and to seek progression through further education and training within the national framework of qualifications leading to a QQI level 6 Advanced Craft Certificate.

SOLAS has the responsibility for promoting and overseeing the training and education of all the apprentices in the current designated 25 crafts (Floor & Wall tiling currently under review).  A national standard is delivered for each craft based on the occupational analysis of that craft, written as key learning outcomes and structured in modular format.  The 25 designated crafts are as follows:





To become an apprentice in one of the crafts marked with an asterisk (*) applicants must pass the Ishihara Colour Vision Test (24 Plate Edition).

Entry Criteria

To become an apprentice the individual must satisfy the minimum entry requirements; obtain employment in their chosen craft with an employer that is approved to train apprentices by Solas.  The minimum educational entry requirements are as follows:

Grade D in five subjects in the Junior Certificate or an approved equivalent. (Please note that many employers will require Leaving Certificate or equivalent)


the successful completion of an approved Pre-Apprenticeship course.


be over 18 years of age and have at least 3 years work experience since the age of 16 in the relevant designated craft as deemed acceptable by SOLAS.

How to Apply

If you require further information in relation to an Apprenticeship or if you are a business that would like to participate in the Apprenticeship Programme, please contact one of our Senior Training Advisors:

Kilkenny Area Carlow Area
Virginia Bohan Tomás McCarthy
087 1220882 087 6832633




New Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships have been expanded into many new areas of the economy with Employer and Education providers developing apprenticeships relevant to their industry. Some of these new areas include

  • Finance
  • Hospitality – levels 6-8 on the framework of qualifications including Commis Chef, Chef de Partie and Sous Chef
  • Polymer Processing
  • Manufacturing
  • Geo Drilling
  • Hairdressing
  • Industrial Electrical Engineering
  • Original Equipment Manufacturing
  • Insurance
  • ICT
  • Retail Management
  • Accounting Technician
  • Laboratory Technician and Analyst

And many more being developed. For full up to date information please go to or contact one of our Training Advisors.


Click Here for Apprenticeships Information