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Coronavirus/COVID-19 UPDATE


Update regarding the national Register of Apprentices and the Apprenticeship Code of Practice  during the period of shutdown due to the Covid-19 virus

The following amendments to the national Register of Apprentices  and the Code of Practice for employers and apprentices will apply for the period in which Ireland is responding to the Covid-19 virus. 

National Register of Apprentices
Apprentices who have been unable to continue their learning on- or off-the-job during the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions will remain on the national Register of Apprentices during March-April 2020 inclusive. The Register will record, however, where apprentices have been so affected, and employers are requested to provide regular updates on any changes to the status of their apprentices via the SOLAS Authorised Officer network. Maximum contact with affected apprentices will be maintained by SOLAS and its partners in order to provide advice and supports, with regular updates posted on www.apprenticeship.ie.

Where apprentices are unable to work due to the Covid-19 restrictions, it is expected that employers will generally seek the Wage Subsidy payment on their behalf. Alternatively, where a temporary layoff has been required, apprentices are generally eligible for the Pandemic Unemployment Payment, or alternatively the D/EASP Jobseekers Benefit.

Apprenticeship Code of Practice

The Apprenticeship Code of Practice includes requirements of employers and apprentices regarding the date of completion of an apprenticeship, time-served requirements in the case of craft apprenticeships, and requirements regarding notice of short-time working and arrangements for same (Sections 5, 6 and 8 (u)).

During March-April 2020, apprentices who have been prevented in engaging in their on-the-job or off-the-job training by the Covid-19 restrictions will not have their apprenticeship temporarily or otherwise suspended. The national restrictions will not affect apprentices’ record of time-served, where relevant. SOLAS will review this approach with its key stakeholders at the end of April.




Updates on off the job training for apprentices:

  1. In line with advice from Government, all off-the-job training for apprentices including assessments is currently suspended.
  2. Apprentices who had been scheduled to complete their courses in the immediate term (to mid-April) will return to their employers at the scheduled date.  Arrangements for completion of Phase 2 training and assessment will issue in due course.
  3. All craft apprentices held on off-the-job training will continue to be paid their training allowance.
  4. Apprentices who were receiving an accommodation allowance prior to the 26th March will continue to receive that allowance for the duration of off-the-job training.  
  5. Travel allowances will not be paid while the Training Centres, IoTs and Technological University Dublin are closed to face to face teaching.


We will continue to monitor developments in line with advice from the authorities on the evolving public health situation. A decision on when the training and assessments will recommence will be made in line with this advice. Further updates will be provided when available.


Notice for Employers

Please note the Government has introduced a temporary COVID-19 Wages Subsidy Scheme, the aim of which is to provide financial support to workers affected by the Covid-19 crisis. Full details on the scheme can be found here:

https://www.revenue.ie/en/corporate/communications/covid19/temporary-covid-19-wage-subsidy-scheme.aspx


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