Twenty-four Donegal Apprentices Graduate

Graduates throwing caps in the air.
Graduates throwing caps in the air.
Donegal apprentices graduate.

Twenty-four apprentices from Donegal were among a group of eighty-eight craft apprentices from across seventeen apprenticeship programmes who graduated at a ceremony today. An additional 124 apprentices, including twenty-four from Donegal who recently qualified, were unable to attend the ceremony due to employment and other commitments.

Donegal Education and Training Board (ETB) and Mayo, Sligo and Leitrim Education and Training Board (MSLETB) presented the graduates with their certificates at a graduation ceremony in Letterkenny on Friday 13 October.

The graduates qualified in the following apprenticeships: Agricultural Mechanics, Carpentry and Joinery, Construction Plant Fitting, Electrical, Electronic Security Systems, Heavy Vehicle Mechanics, Instrumentation, Mechanical Automation and Maintenance Fitting, Motor Mechanics, Metal Fabrication, Plastering, Pipefitting, Plumbing, Wood Manufacturing and Finishing, Toolmaking, Stonecutting and Stonemasonry, and Vehicle Body Repairs.

Three people standing side by side in front of banners.
Mayo, Sligo and Leitrim ETB Chief Executive Tom Grady, Donegal ETB Chief Executive Anne McHugh and ATU Donegal Head of College Paul Hannigan.

Presenting the awards, Donegal ETB Chief Executive Anne McHugh stated, “We are incredibly proud of all of our Apprentices today as they celebrate this milestone moment with family and friends. They have been further supported by Apprenticeship staff within their ETBs and of course by their employers. All of our stakeholders play such a vital role during the apprenticeship journey and today we salute all those who work so hard to prepare our Apprentices for their vital role in our economy.

“Our Apprentices are extremely well prepared to work in Ireland where their skills are much in demand or indeed they now have a qualification which can take them anywhere they want to go.  We wish them all well as they embark on this next phase of their career.”

Congratulating the apprentices who received awards, Paul Hannigan, Head of College at ATU Donegal said, “The reintroduction of

Large group of people.
Apprenticeship graduates and guests.

apprenticeship training to ATU Donegal has been a great success and as a consequence we are currently in discussions with the HEA to expand our provision in Phases 4 and 6 across several Craft Apprenticeships. Our ongoing collaborative partnership with the ETBs in Donegal and Mayo, Sligo and Leitrim ensures that apprentices in this region continue to receive the highest quality training.”

Apprenticeships are delivered through a combination of on-the-job and off-the-job training that allows apprentices to earn while they learn and gain an internationally recognised qualification.

Speaking at the event Chief Executive of MSLETB, Tom Grady, said, “Apprenticeships play a pivotal role as they equip apprentices with the knowledge, skills, and expertise that industries demand, providing a pathway to rewarding careers. Our graduating apprentices should take great pride in their decision to pursue this journey. I extend my gratitude to the employers and mentors who supported these graduates throughout their apprenticeships. To the apprentices, your dedication and hard work are commendable, and you truly exemplify your employer, these apprenticeship programmes, and our ETBs. Best of luck to our apprentices for your future careers and endeavours.”

Person speaking.
Vinny McGroary, Donegal ETB Area Training Manager and Apprenticeship Services Manager.

In congratulating the graduates, the role of employers was also acknowledged by Vinny McGroary, Donegal ETB Area Training and Apprenticeship Services Manager; “I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all the employers across the regions for the critical role they play in training our apprentices. The continued growth in apprentice registrations is helping to drive the local and regional economies which will benefit all of us. While both ETBs continue to manage apprenticeship operations in our counties, I wish to also acknowledge the excellent work of our instructing staff responsible for the delivery of Phase 2 off-the-job training and our colleagues in ATU in delivering Phases 4 and 6 across the regions.”

By the end of August this year, almost 9,000 employers have used apprenticeships to help support and grow their businesses nationally, with almost 25,500 apprentices currently completing their training.

For more information about the apprenticeship programmes available or to become an approved employer or to register as an apprentice, contact Donegal ETB’s apprenticeship team on 074 91 20500.

Large group of people.
Donegal ETB apprenticeship graduates with further education and training staff and Paul Hannigan, ATU.