Apprenticeship is the recognised means by which people are trained to become craftspeople in Ireland.  SOLAS has statutory responsibility for the management of the Apprenticeship programme.  For counties Galway and Roscommon, the GRETB have responsibility for administering the programme.  There are currently 27 designated crafts within the Standards Based Apprenticeship System as listed below.

Carpentry & Joinery Brick & Stonelaying Plumbing*
Wood Manufacturing Finishing Stonecutting & Masonry Pipefitting
Painting & Decorating* Plastering


Electricial* Instrumentation* Refrigeration Air Conditioning*
Electrical Instrumentation* Electronic Security System*  


Motor Mechanics* Heavy Vehicle Mechanics* Agriculture Mechanics*
Aircraft Mechanics* Construction Plant Fitting* Vehicle Body Repairs*


Mechanical Automation and MaintenanceFitting* Metal Fabrication Sheet Metalworking
Toolmaking Farriery Industrial Insulation



Further Information
Please note: Crafts marked with * must Pass the ISHIARA Colour Vision Test.  There is a Form available for this purpose and it can be obtained from the GRETB Apprenticeship office.Apprenticeship comprises of seven phases of training (Exceptions Aircraft Mechanics, Floor / Wall Tiling, Industrial Insulation and Print Media), three off-the-job and four on-the-job.  Phase 2 training is generally delivered in ETB Training Centres throughout the country and Phases 4 and 6 are delivered by the Institutes of Technology/Colleges of Further Education.  The duration of an apprenticeship is a minimum of 4 years.


How to become an Apprentice
  1. Obtain a job with an employer as an apprentice in the chosen occupation.
  1. The employer must be approved to train apprentices and must register the applicant as an apprentice within 2 weeks of starting in employment as an apprentice.
  1. The minimum age at which employment of an apprentice may commence is 16 years of age and there is no upper age limit.
  1. Pass the ISHIARA colour vision test as approved by SOLAS for certain trades.
  1. The minimum educational requirements are:
  • Grade D in five subjects in the Department of Education & Skills Junior Certificate examination or approved equivalent, or
  • The successful completion of an approved Pre-Apprenticeship course or
  • Three years’ work experience gained over 16 years of age in a relevant designated industrial activity as SOLAS shall deem acceptable.


 Advanced Certificate – Craft
Please note that some employers may specify a higher level of educational requirements.

Advanced Certificate – Craft: The Advanced Certificate Craft (Level 6 on the National Framework of Qualifications) is awarded on the successful completion of an apprenticeship. This Certificate has National and International recognition and is a compulsory requirement for craftsperson status.

Employers Recruiting Apprentices:Employers wishing to register an apprentice must be able to satisfy SOLAS/GRETB that the employer is capable of providing access to the range of work, tools and equipment specified in the curriculum for that trade.  The employer must provide a suitably qualified craftsperson to supervise the training and work of the apprentice and conduct the on-the-job assessments.

Training Locations: Currently, the following Phase 2 courses take place in GRETB Training Centre, Mervue Business Park, Mervue, Galway: Carpentry & Joinery, Electrical, Metal Fabrication and Motor. Please note that Apprentices may be scheduled to attend any location where the ETB Training Centres/Institutes of Technology and Colleges of Further Education are based for the off-the-job training phases.

Wages and Training Allowances: Apprentices are paid by the employer when they are on the job (Phases 1, 3, 5 & 7) and details of rates of pay should be sought from their prospective employer. During off-the-job training (Phases 2, 4 & 6), apprentices receive a training allowance from GRETB or other ETBs. A bursary is available to employers to encourage the recruitment of female apprentices into the designated apprenticeships. For further information on becoming an apprentice or employing an apprentice, please contact the

GRETB Services to Business Office, Mervue Business Park, Mervue, Galway.
 phone 091 706200