Masters Level Apprenticeships – A First

29th August 2022

Posted In: WMB Careers

The first ever students in Ireland to graduate with Masters level apprenticeships were conferred at University of Limerick last Monday (August 22nd, 2022).

The students – 34 of which are graduating from the Lean Sigma and Supply Chain programmes run by the Faculty of Science and Engineering’s Flexible Learning Centre – are the first to graduate with Masters level apprenticeships from any education institute in the country.

In a world’s first, a batch of doctoral apprentice students will also graduate from UL in 2024.

The Masters level apprenticeship students are among almost 3,300 new graduates who were conferred at UL last week.

UL President Professor Kerstin Mey said: “Our first ever Irish apprenticeship Masters graduates are all highly valued experienced professionals who have now broadened and significantly augmented their skillset while continually working. They are very deserving of our praise.

“These graduates are significantly contributing to current or predicted skills gaps by growing their own in-house knowledge and talent with a combination of ‘on the job’ learning and formal studies.”

The UL apprenticeships programme focused on structured education and training which formally combines and alternates learning in the workplace with learning in UL. It is a dual system – a blended combination of on-the-job employer-based training and off-the-job training.

Responding to the growing popularity and the diversity of options in apprenticeships, UL is the first university in Ireland to offer higher-level apprenticeships and the first university in the world to offer a level 10 (PhD) apprenticeship.

The apprenticeships were developed by a consortium of industry leads, in partnership with UL, with the aim of meeting the expanding needs of businesses in Ireland and to prepare Irish industry to be leaders on a global scale.

Minister of State for Skills and Further Education Niall Collins TD, said: “Today is a very special day for the graduates of these apprenticeship programmes. They should all be proud of their achievements.

“This is also a proud day for UL, as the first university in Ireland to offer apprenticeships from degree to post-graduate level and a global trailblazer in the provision of apprenticeships at doctorate level. The message is loud and clear: apprenticeships are open for business and in more areas than you might think,” Minister Collins added.

In her conferring address, Professor Mey told the wider group of assembled new UL graduates that the ceremonies are “a hugely important part of your learning journey”.

“Your journey through education has been exciting, challenging and indeed not without a great deal of effort and commitment, but today you are celebrating the fact that you have excelled academically and all while we faced some of the darkest and most challenging days in recent history.

“Some of you will be the disruptors in asking how we do things differently, but all of you will be capable of meeting the challenges ahead.”

Pictured: Sive Hannon and Volha Kaimasava, who graduated with a Masters of Science in Supply Chain Operations from University of Limerick, pictured with Minister of State for Skills and Further Education Niall Collins TD and UL President Professor Kerstin Mey (Image: Sean Curtin/True Media).