Work-based learning (WBL) is an educational strategy that provides learners with real-life work experiences where they can apply academic and technical skills and develop their employability. Work-based learning takes place in apprenticeship, traineeships, skills to advance, skills to compete and other such courses with work placement.  Work-based learning creates a different learning paradigm. 

If you are an employer who would like to find out more about work-based learning and how it can help address a skills gap in your industry please contact your local ETB who will be able to assist you. 


Traineeships are short, structured training programmes which combine learning in an education and training setting as well as learning in the workplace in partnership with employers.

Traineeships are developed and delivered by the Education and Training Boards (ETBs) working in partnership with industry representatives and employers. A Traineeship can provide you with an opportunity to develop cutting edge skills and on-the-job knowledge, enhancing your career options and improving your employability.


  • Are free to access and open to potential participants of all ages and backgrounds including school levers, older learners, and those in, or seeking employment.
  • Lead to an award at NFQ Levels 4-6, or equivalent.
  • Are between 6-20 months in duration.
  • Include at least 30% of learning on-the-job.
  • Combine transversal and technical skills development.
  • Are designed for flexible delivery – online, face-to-face, blended learning.
  • Provide open access to prospective trainees, unemployed people may be eligible for income support.
  • Respond to an identified industry skills need.

There are over 75 programmes available nationally in a range of industries with new Traineeships being developed on an ongoing basis by ETBs.

Further information on programmes available in your area can be obtained by clicking on the link for your local ETB or by visiting .

Am I eligible?

Traineeships are free to access and open to potential participants of all ages and backgrounds including school levers, older learners, and those in, or seeking employment.

How to apply?

You can browse courses and apply online via .

Further information on programmes available in your area can also be obtained by contacting your local ETB .

For those currently unemployed, training allowance or income support may be available.

In line with the Pathways to Work 2016-2020 strategy, the Comprehensive Framework for Employment of People with Disabilities and the Action Plan on Jobless Households, eligibility to participate in a Traineeship programme includes people who are in receipt of any of the following payments:

  • Jobseekers Benefit
  • Jobseekers Payment
  • One Parent Family payment
  • Jobseeker’s Transitional Payment (JST)
  • Disability Allowance

Eligible persons must also be resident in the state and hold a valid PPSN.

Those in receipt of one of the payments above are eligible to retain their payment while participating in a traineeship. Prospective participants who fulfil these criteria are referred by Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP) to an Education & Training Board (ETB) and receive a training allowance for the duration of their training.

You may also be eligible for a training allowance during the duration of the programme. Contact your local Education & Training Board (ETB) for more information.


An apprenticeship is an opportunity to earn a salary as an employee while gaining valuable knowledge and skills. You will learn both on-the-job and in a college setting while being paid throughout.

There are a wide range of apprenticeship programmes available, in industry areas that include finance, ICT, biopharma, construction, engineering, hospitality and arboriculture and new programmes become available every year Check out Generation Apprenticeship for more information.

50% or more of apprenticeship learning happens on-the-job.  


Are you an employer who wants to grow your business with talented, loyal employees?   Over 6,500 employers in Ireland currently use apprenticeship as a talent pipeline to help sustain and grow their business, and the numbers are growing each year. Benefits include the following:

  • New ideas – apprentices with diverse backgrounds and abilities widen your talent pool – including women career changers, and older learners
  • Tailored recruitment – employers decide who to employ and train as an apprentice
  • Productivity – businesses who employ apprentices gain competitive advantage through bespoke skills development
  • Motivation – apprenticeship provides a consistent pipeline of motivated, highly skilled employees
  • Retention – international research demonstrates that apprentices are more loyal to employers who have invested in their training
  • Teamwork – the apprenticeship route is open to new and existing employees.

The apprenticeship incentivisation scheme for employers is extended to the end of June 2021.

For further information on becoming an apprentice employer check out Generation Apprenticeship

Skills to Advance:

A Government of Ireland initiative, delivered by Education and Training Boards, Skills to Advance has been established to enable targeted support for specific groups in the Irish workforce and to meet the challenges of rapid technological advances and the changing work environment. It offers upskilling and reskilling opportunities to employees and SMEs through Further Education and Training. In addition, Skills to Advance can assist SMEs in identifying their training needs and provide training to their workforce. Through Skills to Advance, we can provide your business with accessible training opportunities, which fit in and around your business and work schedules. 

Find out more Skills to Advance | Solas | Learning Works.


Skills to Advance offers a wide range of upskilling and reskilling opportunities available to you through your local Education and Training Board (ETB). Training opportunities can vary according to local enterprise needs, to find out what’s available in your area, visit your local ETB. Find out more Skills Employees | Solas | Learning Works.


Skills to Advance can work for you by helping to identify potential skills gaps in your business and adapt to market changes. We offer subsidised upskilling and reskilling options for your staff, creating a straightforward way to help increase your productivity and competitiveness in a fast-changing business sector.  Find out more Skills Employers | Solas | Learning Works.