Apprenticeship FAQs

What is an Apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships are more affordable for the individual learner as they are earning whilst learning and in most cases the tuition is funded under a government scheme. There is an argument to be made that the apprentice is more job ready than the traditional learner attending a full-time programme, at the end of their programme of studies. The apprentice enjoys the environment a workplace has to offer as well as the college experience.

Frequently Asked Question (Apprentices)

An apprentice is a learner who is employed by an approved employer while studying for a qualification on the National Framework of Qualifications which uses an apprenticeship delivery framework.

An apprenticeship is an alternative method of studying for a qualification on the National Framework of Qualifications. Apprentices are employed full time and study through a combination of learning on the job and off the job classroom sessions (typically one day a week for 30 weeks in the year). It is a collaborative delivery between the apprentice, employer and academic provider. Apprentices earn while they are learning.

In an apprenticeship apprentices work and are paid for a full-time role and are released by their employer from their normal paid working week to attend the classroom sessions. In a traineeship trainees are studying full time with an unpaid work placement element.

You can find more information about apprenticeships at

The programme requires apprentices to attend one day a week for ten weeks for each of the three semesters i.e. 30 days in the classroom each year.

Each day is 8 hours which includes an hour for lunch.

An industry led consortium (which includes The Private Hospitals Association, Nursing Homes Ireland, Home and Community Care Ireland the Alliance of Healthcare Assistants in Ireland and a number of employers) manage the programme and Griffith College who are the coordinating provider are responsible for the delivery of the programme.

You are responsible for your own learning with the support of the team to assist you.

In the first instance, you will need to talk to your employer. Your employer will need to be approved by SOLAS for the delivery of the apprenticeship programme. You will need to meet the programme entry requirements. Visit the Advanced Healthcare Assistant Practitioner Apprenticeship web site and register your interest and you will be contacted by the admissions team who will discuss the enrolment process with you.

You can find out more about the Advanced Healthcare Assistant Practitioner Apprenticeship here.

You will be supported by your workplace mentor, the module leaders who deliver each individual module and the programme director and the administrator for the programme. In addition, you will be appointed an academic success coach  who will coach you throughout the whole programme ensuring you achieve academic success.

An academic success coach is a member of the academic team who is appointed to look after you for the whole 2-year duration of the programme. They monitor your progress and workplace learning, providing support and advice where necessary. They will also guide you on how to resolve any issues that arise between the on and off the job learning.

If you meet the entry requirements for the programme and you are seeking an employer please register your interest in the programme here and agree to share your information with potential employers and we will make your contact details available to our database of approved employers. You will need to be employed to join the programme.

The Apprenticeship Council’s code of conduct is available here.

Apprentices will be earning while they are learning. The fee for the programme is €1,000 per annum which can be paid by 10 monthly instalments of €100. The balance of the training is funded by the state.

It is not an entry requirement of the programme that you have IT skills however to gain the maximum benefit from the programme you will need to be able to use MS Word and Excel or equivalent and be competent in sending and receiving emails.

The advantages for apprentices are:

  • You earn while you learn
  • You receive a recognised qualification
  • 90% of apprentices are kept on by their employer at the end of the apprenticeship
  • Secure a higher paid role at the end

Gain independence and respect and grow in confidence

The English language entry requirements for the programme is based on the Common European Framework of References for Languages (CEFR) and is set at the level CEF B2+ or equivalent. Candidates with English language levels below CEF B2+ must first reach this minimum standard before enrolling on the academic programme.

Frequently Asked Question (Employers)

The advantages are:

  • Key employee retention for the duration of the programme
  • Increased loyalty and motivation for apprentices to stay based on your investment in their training
  • Introduction of new knowledge, skills and competencies to your workplace with a movement towards becoming a learning organisation
  • Apprentices can bring fresh perspectives and dynamics to a team and share their new learning with colleagues
  • Improved productivity
  • Enhanced quality of care
  • Marketing advantage in being able to show you are actively supporting staff training
  • Increased motivation in the healthcare team
  • Greater level of support for your nursing staff

You find out more about the Advanced healthcare Assistant Practitioner Apprenticeship by visiting the AHAP website

The Apprenticeship Council’s code of conduct is available here.