Electrical Apprentices to Attend Phase 4 Training in Donegal for First Time

The first group of Electrical Apprentices to undertake Phase 4 of their apprenticeships in Donegal registered this morning in LYIT with LYIT’s Department of Electronic and Mechanical Engineering and Donegal ETB’s Apprenticeship Services in what is viewed as an historic day for the county.

As a result of ongoing collaboration between Donegal ETB and LYIT, and in response to an ever-increasing demand for additional capacity to support the national apprenticeship programme, both organisations sought approval from SOLAS and the HEA for the hosting of Phase 4 and 6 of the Electrical apprenticeship programme in the Institute.

Donegal ETB has a long history of involvement with the national apprenticeship programmes and recently expanded its capacity for Phase 2 delivery. For LYIT this is a return to apprentice education after more than two decades and it marks the Institute’s first involvement in Phase 4 and Phase 6 training for the Advanced Certificate (Craft) award at Level 6 on the QQI framework.

Funding was secured from the HEA and SOLAS and much work has gone into preparing workshops and putting in place the resources to enable the commencement of the first Phase 4 Electrical classes in Letterkenny this term.

Both Donegal ETB and LYIT are delighted to welcome thirty-two electrical apprentices from all over the country to Donegal this week to progress in their apprenticeship journey.

Dr Gertie Taggart, Head of Faculty of Engineering and at LYIT stated, “After the absence of apprenticeships at LYIT since the 1990s the Faculty of Engineering and Technology is delighted to be offering its first apprenticeship in Electrical Crafts in the new academic year 21/22. This is hopefully the start of many apprenticeships programmes that will be on offer in the coming years at LYIT.”

In welcoming the Phase 4 apprentices Acting Head of Department of Mechanical and Electronic Engineering, Dr Paddy Hannigan stated, “Having the facilities ready for our first intake of Phase 4 apprentices would not have been possible without the fantastic support of LYIT’s Estates Department and great assistance from Donegal ETB. The new but experienced team of lecturers and technicians at LYIT has been helped by very significant assistance from IT Sligo, support from SOLAS, and beneficial engagement with GMIT and the Tallaght campus of TUD.”

The Electrical apprenticeship is a seven-phase programme with Phases 1, 3, 5 and 7 taking place on-the-job with employers and Phases 2, 4 and 6 based off-the-job in training and educational facilities in ETBs (Phase 2) and Institutes of Technology/Technical Universities (Phase 4 and 6). While the first roll out of the overall plan involves two classes of Phase 4 Electrical apprentices in September 2021, this is to be followed by an expansion to Phase 6 Electrical apprentices in 2022.

Donegal ETB’s Area Training and Apprenticeship Manager Vinny McGroary stated, “this a really important development for Apprenticeships in Donegal, as it’s the first time that we have had the opportunity to deliver both Phase 4 and 6 in the county and I would like to take this opportunity to thank LYIT for their continued help and support in achieving this milestone – hopefully we can now focus on other Apprenticeships with a view to expanding the service in our county.”

Donegal ETB and LYIT recently re-signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which commits both organisations to work collaboratively to progress high level strategic aims and objectives which will ultimately benefit the county. In light of this, Anne McHugh, Donegal ETB Chief Executive noted, “I cannot think of a better example of this than seeing apprentices commencing Phase 4 of their Electrical Apprenticeship programme here at LYIT today. We have been in intense preparations with the Institute over the past number of months and our partnership approach has yielded really positive outcomes for all, not least the Apprentices who will begin their studies here today. Congratulations to all involved in this wonderful example of collaboration. The importance of Apprenticeships cannot be overstated within the current climate and we are delighted to be involved in the national effort to progress more and more people through this route to employment.”

This was echoed by LYIT President Paul Hannigan who stated, “Letterkenny IT is delighted to be hosting Electrical Craft Apprenticeships on campus again following a gap of almost thirty years.  It is fitting as we approach our 50th Anniversary and move towards becoming a Technological University.  It is equally important that we have had the support of our partners in Donegal ETB in delivering this initiative.”

Electrical apprentices who successfully complete the seven phases of their apprenticeship are awarded with a QQI Level 6 Advanced Certificate (Craft).

Further information on apprenticeship programmes can be found at https://apprenticeship.ie or alternatively contact Donegal ETB’s Apprenticeship Services staff by emailing apprenticeship@donegaletb.ie or calling 074 91 20500.

Group of students and staff
Phase 4 Electrical Apprentices pictured with (front row, left-right) Claire Lernihan and Lorraine Murray (Senior Apprenticeship Training Advisors, Donegal ETB), Seamus Greene (Assistant Lecturer, LYIT), Dr Paddy Hannigan (Acting Head of Department of Mechanical and Electronic Engineering, LYIT), Mairead Carlin (Assistant Training Centre Manager, Donegal ETB), Lisa Flaherty (Clerical Officer, Donegal ETB), Colm Richardson (Assistant Training Centre Manager), Anne McHugh (Chief Executive, Donegal ETB), Vinny McGroary (Area Training and Apprenticeship Manager, Donegal ETB), Paul Hannigan (President, LYIT) and Dr Gertie Taggart (Head of Faculty of Engineering and Technology, LYIT).