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Apprenticeship is a system of employment based training and education which enables a person to obtain the skills, knowledge and education required to satisfactorily perform the core skills of their chosen trade.The Irish apprentice system comprises seven phases.The first, third, fifth and seventh phases are completed with the employer on-the-job. The second phase is completed in Solas. The fourth and sixth phases are completed in an Institute of Technology. At the completion of the fourth and sixth phases the apprentice must pass the relevant examinations.

Advanced entry to higher certificate courses is available depending on the apprentice's results in phase 6. The Institute of Technology Tralee has apprentices currently pursuing Phase 4 and Phase 6 modules of the Agricultural Mechanics and Carpentry & Joinery Apprenticeships. IT Tralee is the only college in the country which offers craft level apprenticeship courses in Agricultural Mechanics.


This course will provide students with the foundation for a career in agri-business roles anywhere in the world including dairy farm management, food processing, food and farm business, state bodies, education and research, professional and owner management of farms, consultancy and marketing and communications.

For top level carpentry apprentices with an ambition to progress, carer progression routes would include: Site Manager, Contract Manager or Clerk of Works.  Starting your own business is also a desirable step for those with entrepreneurial flair.


Employment may begin at 16 years of age subject to the minimum educational requirements:

  • Grade D in any 5 subjects, at Department of Education and Skills Junior Certificate Level;
  • Satisfactorily completion of a Solas pre-apprenticeship course;
  • In certain occupations, a vision test is required.

NOTE: To obtain an apprenticeship, it is necessary to contact a prospective employer directly. The employer then registers your name with Solas and only then can the training programme begin.