The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Michael McGrath, the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris, and the Minister of State at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, Ossian Smyth, have launched the recruitment campaign for the next intake of ICT Apprentices in the Civil Service.
Plans are in place to recruit over 100 ICT Apprentices into 23 Civil Service organisations, to start their apprenticeships in March 2023. This 2-year scheme is on a much larger scale than the pilot programme run between 2019 and 2021. These roles will open up exciting opportunities for those who want to participate in state-of-the-art digital solutions and play a significant role in delivering on our ambitions for Ireland to be a digital leader.
Minister McGrath welcomed the initiative, commenting, “I am delighted to once again be seeking applications from those interested in starting a career in ICT and digital in the Civil Service. The earn-as-you-learn apprenticeship model will see these apprentices undertake recognised training and receive exciting opportunities to work on some of the many transformation initiatives that are happening across the Civil Service.”
“For the 2023 programme, we will be recruiting over 100 apprentices to join our teams and contribute to digital and ICT projects of national importance. Digital transformation is a key theme of my ambitions for transformation of the public service and for this we need to recruit candidates of the highest calibre.”
Minister Harris added, “we have set ourselves ambitious targets to have 10,000 apprentices registered every year by 2025. 750 of those must be from the public service. This initiative is leading the way in the public service. I am delighted to see that those who are successful will be given the chance to join the Civil Service as ICT Specialists once they complete their programme.”
“This recruitment emphasises the message that an apprenticeship can provide a real and substantive career pathway for school leavers, those looking to upskill, change career or for people who are looking for a route back to employment in new and growing areas.”
Minister of State Smyth stated, “this initiative represents a great opportunity for candidates wishing to make a valuable contribution to the government’s ICT and digital services. I am particularly delighted to see the new ICT Apprenticeship in Cyber Security, which aligns with the government’s National Cyber Security Strategy and will help ensure that the public service has the competence and capacity to protect our critical IT systems and key services.”
Recruiting ICT apprentices is one of a number of initiatives to strengthen and build digital and ICT skills in the civil and public service, in line with Connecting Government 2030: A Digital and ICT Strategy for Ireland’s Public Service.
Run in conjunction with FIT, the national coordinating provider for ICT Apprenticeships, and City of Dublin Education and Training Board (CDETB), the Civil Service ICT apprenticeship is a 2-year full-time programme, which offers participants an exciting opportunity to start their digital and ICT career in the Civil Service.
Peter Davitt, CEO of FIT said, “FIT as the Coordinating Provider for Tech Apprenticeships is delighted that Government is progressing with the ICT Apprenticeships following the very successful pilot. This programme is an exciting opportunity for those wishing to pursue a tech career. FIT is enthusiastic to be partnering with Civil Service and to support this next group of apprentices on their path to digital and ICT roles, which will help advance the country’s interests.”
Successful candidates will be placed with 1 of 23 participating government organisations to undertake the 2-year full-time ICT Apprenticeship programme in software development, computer networking or cyber security. The programme includes both on-the-job and off-the job elements and those succeeding on the programme will attain a National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) Level 6 in Software Development (Computer Programming), Network Engineering (Computer Networking) or Cybersecurity.
The Government CIO, Barry Lowry, said, “as we all know, we live in a digital world where we expect that we can conduct our personal, social and professional business on-line using quality, secure services. These apprenticeships demonstrate innovation in our recruitment approach and have the potential to contribute significantly to broaden the talent pipeline to meet the long term digital and ICT staffing needs of the Civil Service. Furthermore, this is a very exciting opportunity for the apprentices themselves to work on projects that will make a difference to the lives of others.”