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Minister Harris announces two new construction apprenticeship programmes in Civil Engineering

Minister Harris announces two new construction apprenticeship programmes in Civil Engineering

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris has today announced two new apprenticeship programmes in Civil Engineering.

The two apprenticeships become the 72nd and 73th apprenticeship programme. Craft apprentices are key to meeting the State meeting the targets set under Housing for All and the Climate Action Plan.

Speaking today, Minister Harris said:

"We now have 73 apprenticeship programmes in Ireland. A key part of our apprenticeship programme is the development of craft apprenticeships.

"Today, we are announcing two really important programmes – a Level 6 Higher Certificate in Civil Engineering, which will take two years and a Level 7 Bachelor of Engineering in Civil Engineering, which will take three years.

"This new mode of delivery is already attracting new entrants into the profession and satisfy a growing demand for learning through apprenticeship.

"The programme is designed such that apprentices attend online lectures one day per week and an additional day per month on campus for labs and workshops. The other three/four days per week will see the apprentices in the workplace learning ‘on the job’.

"And we have our first apprentices already. 44 apprentices were enrolled on the first phase of programmes - 6 at Level 6 and 38 at Level 7 in ATU Sligo."

Minister Harris added:

"And we won’t stop there. Phase two will include a Level 8 and Level 9 in Civil Engineering. These apprenticeship programmes are currently at the early stage of development by the Civil Engineering Consortium with the first intake onto these programmes in September 2025, which will complete the progression offerings from Higher Certificate to Masters level."

Civil Engineering is the planning, design, construction and maintenance of the built environment. It encompasses minor and major structures, ranging from houses, to roads and bridges to multi-story buildings.

Una Parsons, head of ATU Sligo said:

"ATU is delighted to help address the lack of civil engineers in Ireland through the provision of new educational pathways. In collaboration with the national consortium, the HEA, the National Apprenticeship Office and SOLAS and other higher educational institutions, we are proud to have been chosen as the leading provider for this new apprenticeship in Civil Engineering.

"Having a history of over 50 years delivering civil engineering education coupled with being a national provider of online learning in Ireland, we leveraged off our national partners to get these strategic programmes launched which have experienced a strong demand from industry."

This government is committed to expanding and improving the apprenticeship system. As of the end of October 2023 there were a total of 4,737 registrations across the designated 30 construction and construction-related apprenticeship programmes. Of these, 4,022 were in construction and 715 were in construction-related programmes. Two new construction apprenticeships have launched this year: Civil Engineering Technician (Level 6) and Civil Engineering (Level 7).


Atlantic Technological University (ATU), along with the Civil Engineering Apprenticeship Consortium of key industry stakeholders and employers, has developed the Level 6 and Level 7 apprenticeship programmes to meet this demand.

The Civil Engineering Apprenticeship Consortium, which steers the development of these programmes, is formed by the following representative bodies:

  • Atlantic Technological University
  • Civil Engineering Contractors Association (Part of CIF)
  • Construction Industry Federation
  • Engineers Ireland
  • Local Government Management Agency
  • The Association of Consulting Engineers of Ireland
  • Transport Infrastructure Ireland
  • Uisce Éireann