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HomeFarming NewsRussell wins national apprentice agricultural mechanic award
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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Russell wins national apprentice agricultural mechanic award

Apprentice agricultural mechanic, Kaylem Russell of E. Finnegan and Sons, Co. Meath, has been named as a finalist award winner at the inaugural apprenticeship awards.

He was one of 187 apprentices nominated from across the country for the inaugural national apprenticeship awards programme.

Brian Riordan, an electrical apprentice from Dublin, took the top spot as the overall winner from a pool of twelve finalist award winners.

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris, announced the names of award winners last night (Tuesday, October 25th, 2022), as follows:

Finalist award winners 2022
Apprentice name Name of apprentice’s
County where
apprentice’s employer
is based
Arron Cooke Suir Engineering Waterford Electrical
Brendan Giles Abbott Diabetes Care Donegal Manufacturing Engineering
Dean Doyle Frank Keane Naas Road Dublin Motor Mechanics
Gareth Mullen Tritech Electrical Dublin Plumbing
John Webster Barry Ralph Mayo Commis Chef
Brian Riordan Designer Group Dublin Electrical
Kaylem Russell E.Finnegan & Sons Meath Agricultural Mechanics
Kim Kelly Patrick Gildea Donegal Hairdressing
Mairide Bennis DesignPro Automation Limerick Manufacturing Engineering
Megan Watkins Imogen Ryan Co Tipperary Commis Chef
Owen Kenny Sean Ahern Elec Cork Electrical Instrumentation
Patryk Mierzejewski Eli Lilly Sodexo, Kinsale Cork Commis Chef


Apprenticeships in Ireland

According to Minister Harris, apprenticeship is a “vital lever” for the continued economic prosperity of this country.

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He believes that it not only unlocks the skills and expertise necessary for leading Irish businesses but also will help us to achieve “critical” aims in the Programme for Government, including housing.

Speaking at the awards ceremony, he said: “I would encourage anyone to consider an apprenticeship.”

“This is third-level education, and you can earn as you learn. It is time to get involved and help us build the next generation of apprentices.”

Dr Mary-Liz Trant, director of the National Apprenticeship Office, added that an apprenticeship is a pathway into a “great” career and a choice that both apprentices and businesses can be “very proud” of taking.

Government funding

Under Budget 2023, the government is allocating €30 million in funding for apprenticeships.

According to the minister, this will provide for 4,500 new registrations across both craft and existing consortia-led programmes.

In addition, €400,000 has been awarded for social inclusion measures for apprentices who are under-represented in the apprenticeship population.

Last month in this news article, That’s Farming, reported that three agricultural apprenticeships are set to roll out under the programme.

Earlier this year, we informed our readers that the government is allocating funding for agricultural mechanics under its new €2,600 gender-based bursary for apprenticeship employers.

You can read more in this news article.

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