Applications for apprenticeships and PLCs to be merged with CAO process

Joshua Ellul

A single, streamlined portal of Level 6, 7 and 8 courses, along with Post Leaving Certificate Courses (PLCs), is to open to prospective students on November 5th, it has been announced.

This will allow students to see all of their potential options in one place.

This will mark the first major change in the way that students progress from second-level to further or higher education in decades.

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Simon Harris welcomed the change, saying “there are a range of options available to students, but they are not all as visible as others.”

“When students log onto the CAO website from November 5th, they won’t just see the traditional CAO options; they’ll also, for the first time ever, see education and training options and lots of information and options on apprenticeships,” Minister Harris added.

This change will form part of a number of initiatives spearheaded by Minister Harris, aimed at changing the way in which further education options are viewed and to encourage greater uptake.

This includes a plan to create 10,000 new apprenticeship positions each year from 2025, Laid out under the National Development plan. In order to meet the increased demands for workers in the construction industry.

There is also an aim to broaden the careers available through apprenticeships. With a target to create 750 apprenticeships a year in the public sector by 2025, as well as a €3,000 grant for employers to encourage more employers to take on apprenticeships.

These grants will also be increased where the employer hires individuals from under-represented groups such as lone parents, those with a disability or those living in direct provision.

The grant also aims to shift the gender balance in many sectors, as officials estimate that 80% of plumbing apprentices are male while a similar percentage of women occupy hairdressing apprenticeships.

A bursary of up to €2,666 will be provided to employers taking on male apprentices in a female-dominated industry, or vice versa.


Joshua Ellul

Image Credit: Alison Clair