Dublin has one of the highest rates of apprenticeships in the country, but not everyone can get in.
The €4.5m Irish Architectural Industry (AI) apprenticeship programme aims to help people from the middle and upper middle classes in a way that is both affordable and accessible to them.
The apprenticeship offers both a practical and a theoretical basis for the industry, with the aim of creating graduates that can then help companies like IBM, Siemens and others become more effective and efficient.
The program has been launched since 2008, and it is the first of its kind in the EU.
It provides funding for three years, which the AI has set as a goal.
The AI will continue to help businesses develop the best in-house skills for the future.
“It is the most successful apprenticeship in the world and the most flexible, meaning that we can help the best students with any need and give them the opportunity to pursue their dream of becoming a professional,” said AI CEO Niamh Brennan.
“The apprenticeships offer students an opportunity to develop their craft and build their skills, which will be invaluable for their future career.”AI also looks to the students for guidance in building their careers, as they will be mentored by industry experts.
“The apprentices’ job will be to design a new, innovative and affordable office space for an existing business.
This will be done through the use of architectural concepts such as industrial design and industrial design-based office spaces, but it is also possible to use modern design techniques.”
The main focus of the program is to prepare graduates for their entry into the workforce in the future,” said Dr Brennan.
The AI is a programme of the National Institute of Design (NID), which has been run since 2010 by the NUI Galway.”
A key objective of the programme is to develop graduates who can build the kind of products that our clients need and are looking for,” said NID Director of Research Dr Joanna Fitzgerald.”
We know from the experience of other institutes in other parts of the world that these apprenticeships can be extremely valuable in terms of the growth of the apprenticeship industry in Ireland, with a further investment of €5m.
“The NID has also set up a special fund to support the programme.
The funding will cover the costs of apprentices’ courses and their subsequent training.
The students who get in will also receive a full €4 per hour stipend, with an option to work part-time.
The NUI’s apprenticeship has been funded by the AI for the past four years, but there has been a huge rise in demand.
The number of apprentices applying has risen from around 500 to around 700 each year.
The number of people getting in has increased from around 6,000 to over 13,000 each year, with around 5,000 of them entering each year since the inception of the AI in 2009.
The NIU is currently funding the program, with funding to be extended.
It is not the first time AI has stepped in to help fill the gap, as it did in 2013 for the construction of a new campus for the University of Limerick.”
While the program may seem small in comparison to other initiatives around the world, we are very pleased to be able to provide this funding,” said NIU Vice-Chancellor of Business, Innovation and Employment Prof Martin Mullen.”
At NUI we believe that a strong and active presence of the Irish architect community is vitally important in helping to create a more diverse and inclusive architecture community.