The Insurance Practitioner Apprenticeship launches its 2017 programme

Apr 06 2017

The Insurance Practitioner Apprenticeship launches its 2017 programme

62% of young adults would consider an apprenticeship if available in an area of interest to them – over half of parents would encourage their child to undertake an apprenticeship

The Insurance Practitioner Apprenticeship launches its 2017 programme – over 100 apprenticeships available nationwide 


Thursday 6th April 2017: Research released today by The Insurance Institute, found that 62% of young adults surveyed stated that they would consider an apprenticeship, as an alternative to going to college, if it was in an area that interested them. Findings also showed that just over half of parents (55%) would encourage their child to undertake an apprenticeship. The research was released today to launch the 2017 Insurance Practitioner Apprenticeship, Ireland’s only level 8-degree apprenticeship, which will have over 100 places available nationwide in the coming weeks. This ‘earn and learn’, three year programme, enables apprentices to work for an insurance employer, earn a salary, while also studying for a BA Hons in Insurance Practice. 

The research, commissioned by The Insurance Institute and undertaken by Empathy Research, surveyed 309 young adults (18-34) and 410 parents (of dependent children, under 18) to ascertain their perceptions of apprenticeships, as well as their considerations in relation to college/third level education and career choices. Most (77%) young adults agreed that college isn’t for everyone and 76% of young adults agreed that the opportunity to earn a salary while also studying in their chosen field would strongly appeal to them. Only 11% of young adults and 11% (1 in 10) of parents surveyed believe there are enough apprenticeships offered in areas of interest in Ireland, with the majority feeling that there are not. 

The research also discovered that for young adults, their main concern in relation to third level education is the cost and affordability, with 58% citing it as a worry, and 52% stating that the prospect of securing a job when they finish is a key concern. Similarly, 65% of parents are also concerned about their children’s chances of getting a job when they complete third level education, and 57% of parents said the cost and affordability of college is a worry for them. 

Commenting on today’s launch, as well as the findings of the research, Sandra Harvey Graham, Apprenticeship Programme Manager, The Insurance Institute, said, “We’re delighted to be launching our 2017 Insurance Practitioner Apprenticeship, with over 100 places becoming available within the next few weeks and successful applicants beginning their apprenticeship in September. The programme is only in its second year, but has been a game changer as it offers young people a real alternative to college, while also providing local jobs, to local people throughout the country.”

“As our research shows, cost and the potential to secure a job are concerns for parents and students when it comes to third level education. The Insurance Practitioner Apprenticeship is within an established and well represented industry, with 28,000 people working in insurance across Ireland. The programme is also Government funded, so students only pay €600 in registration fees annually. This makes it very affordable for potential candidates to kick start their career in a global and dynamic industry, where they will benefit from exceptional on the job experience, all whilst advancing their skills and working towards a Degree.”

Ms Graham continued, “For those interested in the September 2017 programme, they should register their interest from today on Those registered will be the first to know when the 100 apprenticeships become available over the next few weeks, and they will also benefit from an extensive library of content helping them to get ahead of the game when it comes to applying.”

Additional key research findings included:

  • When asked if they were aware of the Government’s strategy (which is part of the Government’s Action Plan for Education) 12% of young adults (aged 18-34) and 13% of parents said they were. 77% of young adults believe the Government's strategy would be beneficial to young people in Ireland, with parent's feeling the same way (78%); 
  • Getting a degree is cited by almost half (49%) of under 34’s and just over half (53%) of parents as the best way of ensuring a successful working career; 
  • Parents (35%), friends (31%) and guidance counsellors/teachers in school (26%) are the key ports of call for young adults when it comes to talking about choosing a career or changing jobs; 
  • Just 24% of those aged 18-34 claim that they found the career guidance they received in school useful, with almost two thirds (63%) rating it as not useful; 
  • 16% of young adults said they considered an apprenticeship when then were finishing their secondary school education. Key reasons for not considering an apprenticeship included the desire to go to college and get a degree/diploma (58%), with almost a quarter (23%) claiming not to know enough about apprenticeships; 
  • Just under half (46%) of young adults surveyed, agree that they would be happy working in the area they are currently working for the rest of their working life. 

The Insurance Practitioner Apprenticeship was first launched in September 2016, and was Ireland's first, earn and learn honours degree programme. The Government funded apprenticeship is run in partnership with IT Sligo, and apprentices complete the degree portion online through distance learning over three years. The minimum entry requirements include two honours in higher level subjects in the Leaving Cert and a pass in four additional subjects including English/Irish and Maths. Alternatively, if applicants are over 23, interviews or other selection tools may be used. 

For more information on the programme or to register your interest please visit