What is an Apprenticeship?

An Apprenticeship is a programme of structured education and training which formally combines and alternates learning in the workplace with learning in an education or training centre. It is a dual system, which is a blended combination of on-the-job employer-based training and off-the-job training which prepares the participant for a specific occupation, and leads to a qualification nationally recognised on the National Framework of Qualifications from Level 5 – Level 10.

Apprentices earn while they learn and build valuable work-ready skills in a chosen occupation. Apprenticeships open up exciting and rewarding careers, with learning grounded in the practical experience of undertaking a real job.

Apprenticeships are available in the following sectors; Construction, Electrical, Engineering, Finance, Hospitality, ICT, Logistics, Biopharma, Motor, Property Services, with many more in development.

Apprentices are employed by an approved employer for the duration of the programme which is generally between 2-4 years. Apprenticeship programmes typically provide at least 50% workplace-based learning.

Additional information can be found on

School leavers can find more information on apprenticeships in this information brochure: Further Education and Training (FET) Options for School Leavers.

Entry Requirements:

  • Gain employment with an approved employer.
  • Educational and age criteria varies depending on the apprenticeship.  Check for entry requirements.

Benefits for Employers:

Apprenticeships are based on uniform, pre-specified and industry agreed standards.
Apprenticeships comply with current and future needs of the chosen occupation through the systematic development and assessment of skills, knowledge and competencies. Apprentices become more productive and reach efficient worker standards more quickly.

Employers wishing to recruit apprentices may advertise their vacancies on Jobs Ireland and also on  However, before registering an apprentice, employers must contact the Apprenticeship Team to ensure that they are approved to recruit apprentices.

Useful employer information is also available from the National Apprenticeship Website.

Please note: Donegal ETB provides the Phase 2 element for Motor Mechanics, Electrical, Electronic Security Systems, Carpentry and Joinery and Plumbing apprenticeships only. However, apprentices can be scheduled to locations outside the county so as not to delay their progress. It is important to note that for the craft apprenticeships, all Phase 4 and 6 training elements take place in locations outside the county. 

Contact Details

Donegal ETB Apprenticeship Team, Letterkenny Training Centre

Senior Training Advisor
Lorraine Murray
074 9120506

Acting Senior Training Advisor
Claire Lernihan
Tel: 074 9120587

Clerical Officer
Aidan Guthrie
Tel: 074 9120594

Apprenticeship Support Officer
Claire Gillespie
Tel: 074 9120583

Vinny McGroary
074 9120500

Are you a female who'd love to take up a craft #apprenticeship? Andrea and Caoimhe's stories will provide you with some inspiration and if you'd like more information, talk to our Senior Advisors Lorraine and Claire (074 9120500).
#femaleapprentices #BreakTheBias

Donegal Daily @DonegalDaily

Celebrating the female apprentices who break the bias

The excitement is building as we near the closing date to nominate an outstanding Apprentice for our very first National Apprentice of the Year Awards! And we want to hear from you! Final entries due Thursday, June 30! #GenerationApprenticeship Learn more:

Our 2022 Aircraft Maintenance and Engineering Apprenticeship is now open!

If you’d like to be part of the invaluable work done by our amazing M&E team, this is the opportunity for you ✈️ Applications close Sunday 26 June ☘️

Employers, build a skilled talent pipeline of #apprentices today, and avail of exciting opportunities to help drive #gender parity & your #business. The gender-based bursary is now available across 41 apprenticeship programmes. Get involved:

Today marks the start of Pride / Bród month; supporting our LGBTQ+ students and staff throughout the year is very important to us and during June, we're visually highlighting this support through our logo. Happy Pride / Bród Sona. 🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍⚧️ #WeAreDonegalETB #pridemonth2022

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Apprentice Stories

Read Andrea and Caoimhe’s Motor Mechanics and Toolmaking apprenticeship stories.

Read Demi’s Motor Mechanics apprenticeship and Colleen’s Electrical apprenticeship stories.

Read Declan’s Metal Fabrication and Refrigeration and Air Conditioning apprenticeship story.

Read Emma’s Carpentry and Joinery apprenticeship story.

Read Declan’s Plumbing apprenticeship story.

Apprenticeship Programmes typically provide at least 50% workplace based learning.

Apprenticeship Programme Supports

The following supports are available while on our Apprenticeship Programme


 Training is a dual system, which is a blended combination of on-the-job employer-based training and off-the-job training.