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Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for measure IE-2022-1/2349 – measures in Ireland

Gender-based funding for apprenticeships

Country Ireland , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 01 January 2022
Context COVID-19
Type Other initiatives or policies
Category Promoting the economic, labour market and social recovery into a green future
– Active labour market policies (enhancing employability, training, subsidised job creation, etc.)
Author Roisin Farelly (IRN Publishing) and Eurofound
Measure added 19 May 2022 (updated 06 July 2022)

Background information

As part of the Action Plan on Apprenticeship, the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science has launched a new gender-based funding bursary to be paid to the employers of certain defined apprenticeships. The bursary will be implemented with effect from 1 January 2022.

This is a key strand of the action plan on apprenticeships which is a workforce support measure post-COVID.

Speaking at the launch, Mary-Liz Trant, Director of the National Apprenticeship Office said: "At the moment only 1,500 or 6% of apprentices in Ireland are women. In the construction and engineering fields that percentage is even lower. We want to see really strong take up of the bursary among employers, with increased diversity benefitting our 21st century industries."

Content of measure

The gender-based is worth a total of €2,666. This funding will be available to employers who employ apprentices on eligible apprenticeships programmes where there are more than 80% representation of a single gender as of 1 January 2022. It will be paid in two instalments:

  • €1,333 paid after 6 months training by the apprentice.
  • €1,333 paid after 18 months training by the apprentice.

The list of eligible programmes are as follows:

  • Agricultural Mechanics
  • Aircraft Mechanics
  • Arboriculture
  • Brick and Stone-Laying
  • Carpentry and Joinery
  • Construction Plant Fitting
  • Craft Butcher
  • Cybersecurity
  • Electrical
  • Electrical Instrumentation
  • Electronic Security Systems
  • Engineering Services Management
  • Equipment Systems Engineer
  • Farriery
  • Geo Driller
  • Hairdressing (men less than 20%)
  • Heavy Vehicle Mechanics
  • Industrial Electrical Engineer
  • Industrial Insulation
  • Instrumentation
  • Manufacturing Engineer
  • Mechanical Automation and Maintenance Fitting (MAMF) Metal Fabrication Motor Mechanics
  • Network Engineer Associate
  • OEM Engineer
  • Painting and Decorating
  • Pipefitting
  • Plastering
  • Plumbing
  • Polymer Processing Technology
  • Principal Engineer
  • Refrigeration and Air Conditioning
  • Sales
  • Scaffolding
  • Sheet Metalworking
  • Stonecutting and Stonemasonry
  • Telecoms & Data Network Technician
  • Toolmaking
  • Vehicle Body Repairs
  • Wood Manufacturing and Finishing

This list will be reviewed and updated in January 2023.

Use of measure

No information to date.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Female workers
Sector specific set of companies
Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Company / Companies
National funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Consulted Consulted
Form Any other form of consultation, institutionalised (as stable working groups or committees) or informal Any other form of consultation, institutionalised (as stable working groups or committees) or informal

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: Peak or cross-sectoral level


Both social partners were consulted as part of the development of the Action Plan on Apprenticeship 2021 - 2025.

Views and reactions

No information.

Sectors and occupations

    • Economic area Sector (NACE level 2)
      A - Agriculture, Forestry And Fishing A1 Crop and animal production, hunting and related service activities
      A2 Forestry and logging
      C - Manufacturing C16 Manufacture of wood and of products of wood and cork, except furniture; manufacture of articles of straw and plaiting materials
      C20 Manufacture of chemicals and chemical products
      C22 Manufacture of rubber and plastic products
      C26 Manufacture of computer, electronic and optical products
      C32 Other manufacturing
      D - Electricity, Gas, Steam And Air Conditioning Supply D35 Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply
      F - Construction F41 Construction of buildings
      F43 Specialised construction activities
      M - Professional, Scientific And Technical Activities M71 Architectural and engineering activities; technical testing and analysis
    • Occupation (ISCO level 2)
      Science and engineering associate professionals
      Personal service workers
      Building and related trades workers, excluding electricians
      Metal, machinery and related trades workers
      Electrical and electronic trades workers
      Stationary plant and machine operators
      Agricultural, forestry and fishery labourers
      Labourers in mining, construction, manufacturing and transport


  • 14 April 2022: Minister Harris announces new gender-based funding for apprenticeship employers (
  • 19 April 2022: Employers will be paid more to take on female apprentices (


Eurofound (2022), Gender-based funding for apprenticeships, measure IE-2022-1/2349 (measures in Ireland), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.