Our IFS Apprenticeship FAQ page is here to answer any queries you may have regarding the programme.

IFS Apprenticeship FAQs


What is an IFS Apprenticeship? 
An IFS Apprenticeship is a two year, nationally accredited work-based programme designed to meet employers' needs, tackle the skills shortages in entry level and specialist roles. IFS Apprentices will gain a recognised professional qualification at levels 6 and 8 on the National Framework of Qualifications.

What qualifications can an IFS Apprentice gain? 
On successful completion of the IFS Associate Apprenticeship programme, you will receive a Higher Certificate in International Financial Services - Level 6 award. On successful completion of the IFS Specialist Apprenticeship programme, you will receive a Higher Diploma in Financial Services Analytics - Level 8 award

Where is the IFS Apprenticeship offered? 
The IFS Apprenticeship will be delivered nationwide in 2020.

Who is involved in the apprenticeship? 
The IFS Apprenticeship is a collaboration between the apprentice, employer, SOLAS and the Apprenticeship Council

Who issues the IFS Apprenticeship awards? 
The national QQI award for the successful completion of the IFS Apprenticeships programmes is issued by the coordinating provider, the National College of Ireland. 


What are the benefits of an IFS Apprenticeship? 

  • Employment: You will be employed for at least 30 hours a week for a fixed term of 24 months and gain valuable work experience and a professional qualification along the way.
  • Earn while you learn: You will receive at least the National Minimum Wage.
  • A professional qualification: As part of the IFS Apprenticeships you’ll gain an internationally-recognised professional certificate or diploma.
  • Career progression: On successful completion of the IFS Apprenticeship, you can progress onto the Level 7, 8 or 9 Apprenticeship, further or higher education, or other qualifications, including Foundation degrees, a range of business and finance qualifications. It could also open up opportunities for you to progress to more senior roles within your organisation or the wider sector.

How does the application process work? 
Please refer to the apprenticeship page on the IFS website for further information regarding the steps involved in this process.

How is the apprenticeship structured? 
Candidates will spend four days working within a company and attend academia one day per week.

How long does the apprenticeship take?
The apprenticeship programme runs for two years.

How much will it cost to do the Apprenticeship programme? 
There is a registration fee of €600 per year for the IFS Associate Programme and €1000 per year for the IFS Specialist programme to be paid to the education provider. This fee may be paid, in some circumstances, on behalf of the apprentice by the employers

How/When can I apply? 
The applications for the 2020 programme are now closed. Applications for the 2021 intake will open in December.

What are the minimum entry requirements? 
Details of the minimum entry requirements are outlined on the Programme tab on the website. Potential candidates must meet the entry requirements to progress to the next steps in the recruitment process and be placed on the shortlist to meet companies planning to recruit and IFS Apprentice.

What happens after I graduate? 
The first graduates from the IFS apprenticeship programme graduated in November 2019. 70% of the graduates have been recruited by the hiring company in which they completed their apprenticeship. The remaining 30% are working within the financial services sector.

What is the minimum age requirement? 
Candidates must be a minimum of 18 years of age before commencing the academic programme.

When is the next intake of apprentices? 
The commencement of the next academic programme intake is September 2021. Applications for potential candidates will open in December 2020 and will be reviewed to ensure the potential candiates meet the minimum entry requirements.

Who pays for my training? 
The academic programme is government funded.


What is an apprenticeship and what does it mean for my company?
An IFS Apprenticeship is a nationally accredited work-based programme designed to meet employers’ needs. Individuals will gain a recognised professional qualification at levels 6 or 8 on the National Framework of Qualifications. Further to this they will also gain technical knowledge, professional skills as well as wider business competencies.

Candidates are pre-screened and selected from a national panel which reduces recruitment costs and as the training costs are covered by Government funding, the IFS Apprenticeships are an efficient and financially effective process. Companies can also place existing employees on the IFS Apprenticeship programme which will provide industry relevant training at no extra cost to the employer. 

How does an employer get approved to train apprentices?
Employers must seek approval to train an apprentice and be registered with SOLAS. Please contact carol.kenna@ibec.ie for more information.