RSUA has written to the Economy Minister Diane Dodds MLA regarding the financial incentives which will be offered to employers to recruit and retain apprentices, encouraging her to consider a mechanism to ensure this fund can assist the retention of students training to be architects in Northern Ireland.
Architects currently undertake a blend of college and workplace training but architectural study does not currently fit within the parameters of ApprenticeshipsNI or the Higher-Level Apprenticeship programmes. The tables below show the breakdown of location and duration of training.
|Year||Place of training||Duration in months|
|4||On the job training||12|
|7||On the job training||12|
|Months||Proportion of total time in training|
|Time at college||45||65%|
|Time on the job training||24||35%|
RSUA is concerned that in this extremely difficult economic time there is a real danger that employers will be unable to provide students of architecture with the opportunity to complete the 24 months of on-the-job training that are required to qualify as an architect. This could lead to a skills shortage in future years and a brain-drain as students move away to find on-the-job training opportunities elsewhere.
RSUA has asked that:
- the proposed support scheme is extended to provide financial support to employers of architecture students undertaking their required 24 months of on-the-job training;
- to meet with the Minister and officials to discuss how the Apprenticeship Challenge Fund might be used to help provide additional routs for training to become an architect in Northern Ireland.