€260,000 is to be provided in 2019 for investment in apprenticeship programmes at Athlone Institute of Technology, Senator Maura Hopkins has said.

Senator Hopkins stated, “My colleague Minister for Education and Skills, Joe McHugh T.D. has informed me that these funds are being made available as part of an expansion of apprenticeship programmes in Technical Universities and Institutes of Technologies across the country.”

“This funding for Athlone I.T. will have a particular focus on apprenticeships in the areas of plumbing and motoring. This funding will allow for the rollout of a new syllabus for courses, to ensure that those undertaking apprenticeships are trained in the most up to date techniques.”

“This announcement comes as Leaving and Junior Cert Examinations begin this week. It is important that we see alternative pathways for higher education being fully promoted. It is about providing a range of options to students, to best meet their needs for higher education.”

Senator Hopkins concluded, “It is very important to see the apprenticeship route being further developed at Athlone I.T. I would encourage students, particularly those who are sitting exams this week, to strongly consider an apprenticeship to further pursue their education.”