Apprenticeship Courses

How to become an Apprentice

To become an apprentice and participate in the Apprenticeship Training Scheme, apprentices must be registered with SOLAS.

To become a registered apprentice, individuals must first find employment with a company. The company then registers the individual with SOLAS.

As a registered apprentice, SOLAS allocates the individual to a training centre and a higher education institution to complete Phases 2, 4 and 6 of the training. Phases 1, 3, 5 and 7 are completed with the employer.

In what way do the apprenticeships progress?

The present standards-based apprenticeship scheme is run by SOLAS.

Advanced Certificate - Craft

Apprentices who successfully complete all 7 phases are conferred with an Advanced Certificate - Craft by QQI. Only holders of an Advanced Certificate can be registered as qualified craftspersons.

Progression Opportunities

Holders of a Level 6 Advanced Certificate - Craft may be eligible for advanced entry to some of the Department of the Built Environment and Extended Campus courses.

Under the present scheme an apprenticeship lasts 4 years and is divided into 7 distinct phases

Phase 1: On-the-Job training while working with your employer

Phase 2: Off-the-Job training in a SOLAS training centre

Phase 3: On-the-Job training while working with your employer

Phase 4: Off-the-Job training in a higher education institution

Phase 5: On-the-Job training while working with your employer

Phase 6: Off-the-Job training in a higher education institution

Phase 7: On-the-Job training while working with your employer

The duration of each phase varies from trade to trade. However, in almost all trades, apprentices attend a higher education institution for Phases 4 and 6.

SETU Carlow Delivers Phases 4 and 6 Modules In The Following Trades:

The aim of this trade is to produce qualified electricians.

Electricians are typically employed in three main areas:

Electrical generation and distribution
Responsible for the operation and management of national power stations and power distribution networks.
Responsible for the installation of power, computer and security cabling systems in homes and businesses.
Electrical maintenance
Responsible for the maintenance of electrical services, motors and automation equipment within a company.
The aim of this trade is to produce instrument mechanics. These tradespeople are responsible for the installation and maintenance of process instrument equipment. Typically instrument mechanics are employed in the following areas:
Measurement and control
Responsible for measurement and control of temperature, pressure, level and flow, gas analysis in manufacturing industries, primarily pharmaceutical or food processing.
Environmental monitoring and control
Process instrumentation used to measure, monitor and control water and air quality, through environmental protection agencies.
Sales and installation
Responsible for technical sales and installation as sales representatives or technical support engineers.
Electrical Instrumentation
The aim of this trade is to produce qualified electrical instrumentation technicians who are typically employed in the following areas:
Electrical service maintenance
Responsible for the maintenance of manufacturing plant electrical services, primarily in pharmaceutical and food processing industries.
Calibration and maintenance
Responsible for the calibration and maintenance of process instrumentation equipment.
Carpenter and Joiner
The aim of this trade is to produce qualified carpenters and joiners who typically work in the following areas:
Civil engineering
Assist in the provision of road structures, shopping centres, offices and other buildings.
Construction engineering
Assist in building domestic and commercial structures including houses, offices, extensions and refurbishments.

Higher Certificate in Geo Drilling (Apprenticeship) - NFQ Level 6

The apprenticeship in Geo Drilling is a two-year course which includes off-the-job training at SETU Carlow with the remaining time spent training on-the-job.

What is Geo Drilling?

Geo drilling extracts data required by built environment professions from the subsurface in the case of infrastructure development. It also explores the potential for natural resources by drilling into geological features. In addition, geo drilling facilitates the sustainable development of natural resources, in the areas of geothermal energy and ground water extraction.


Applications to the programme can only be submitted by registered employers.

Contact Us

For further information contact:

Head of Department
Department of Built Environment
Eoin Homan
BScEng, MSc, CEng, MIEI
Faculty of Engineering
Department of Built Environment
T: 059 9175400
The Further Education and Training
Authority Block 1
Castleforbes House, Castleforbes Road
Dublin 1, D01 A8N0
T: +353 (01) 5332500