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2. ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY, 6.5 OTHER HUMANITIES
The aim of this study is to gather and analyze feedback from participants of a scheme which was put in place in the early stages of the Irish economic recession to provide work placements to redundant Apprentices. As part of the research for this paper a series of qualitative interviews were conducted with partipancts of the FAS Redundant Apprentice Placement Scheme (RAPS). FAS is the authoriity which organises and administers the Statutory Apprentice Scheme in Ireland.The scheme detailed in this study was put in place to aid Apprentices who has been made redundant, to complete phases 3,5 and 7 of their Apprenticeship. These are three of the four “on the job” phases of their training. A weekly allowance is paid to participating Apprentices for the duration of the placement. Redundant Apprentices and Employers must meet a specific set of criteria to qualify for participation in the scheme, these are designed to protect the participants and to prevent unscrupulious employers from using the scheme as a method of accessing cheap labour. A selection of themes were identified in the data gathered during the interviews, these were seperated and grouped under specific headings. The analysis of the data gathered during these interviews provides an interesting insight into the learning experiences of the participating redundant apprentices.
The findings highlighted that a large proportion of the participants had many positive learning experiences, however they also indicated that they felt that they would have benefited more from the scheme if more opportunities were available to engage in a greater variety of learning tasks. This paper would suggest that the participating Apprentces could learn more if the were placed with a greater variety of companies, this could provide them with a broader range of learning experiences.
Collins, M., Morris, M.:Participants Perspective of the FAS Redundant Placement Scheme. The International Conference on Education and New Developments, Lisbon, Portugal 1st-3rd June 2013.