Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD has today marked the 3,000th application under the Apprenticeship Incentivisation Scheme.

Speaking today (Tuesday), Minister Harris said: “The Government has ambitious plans to expand apprenticeship opportunities to reach 10,000 new apprentices registering per year by 2025 and later this month, we will launch a new Apprenticeship Action Plan

“But we have had some success already. Last year, we announced the Apprenticeship Incentivisation Scheme and today, I can confirm we have received applications for 3,300 apprentices.”

The Apprenticeship Incentivisation Scheme, which was introduced late last year and provides an employer grant of €3,000 payable over two years to support employers who take on and retain apprentices, has supported the recovery of apprentice registrations which had slowed during the COVID-19 response measures.

The latest figures available show 1,941 claims have been submitted online in respect of 3,300 apprentices.

Minister Harris added: “Today, we are visiting Bus Éireann -Ireland’s national bus company and one of the country’s leading employers who recently launched their 2021 Apprentice Recruitment Campaign. In total 17 Heavy Vehicle Mechanic apprenticeship places are available nationwide. Applications are invited between now and the end of March and Bus Éireann are making a particular appeal to women to apply.”

“Successful applicants will be trained to the highest possible technical standards. This includes training on the various day to day repairs and preventative maintenance tasks, in addition to vehicle diagnostics/fault finding with some of the most advanced systems of its kind in place.

“Bus Éireann has been successfully training apprentices since 1987 and it is a very successful programme, with many participants going on to win awards in the Ireland Skills Competition.  This is a great example of a successful apprenticeship programme from one of our main public sector employers and I encourage others to follow suit.”

Minister of State with responsibility for Skills and Further Education Niall Collins TD said “”This is a real example of the value of apprenticeships in Ireland. We have really exciting plans in this area and I am delighted to see so many companies – big and small-  avail of our Incentivisation Scheme and help us increase the number of apprenticeships in Ireland.”

Allen Parker, Chief Customer Officer; “Bus Éireann are delighted to have Minister Harris here to highlight our Heavy Vehicle Mechanic apprenticeship programme which trains apprentices to the highest possible technical standards and ultimately allows us keep our fleet on the road and servicing the public across the country. We would really encourage anybody thinking of this kind of career to apply for the positions in the next two weeks. It is a fantastic opportunity to join Bus Éireann, Ireland’s largest public transport operator.”

Further information on the Bus Éireann apprenticeship opportunities, among others, may be accessed on