ESB Announces Recruitment of 300 Apprentices

  • ESB to recruit 300 apprentices over the next 5 years
  • Company committed to investing in workforce development
  • Apprenticeship model has further potential to develop the national talent pool

ESB has a long history of involvement in offering apprenticeships resulting in qualifications mainly in  electrical and mechanical trades. The company announced today (23rd February, 2015) that it is to recruit 300 apprentices over the next 5 years as part of a large scale recruitment and development programme. The apprenticeship system has been part of our philosophy and ethos in ESB and our investment in apprenticeships and in-career training is critical to ensuring that ESB has the requisite skills available for us to maintain, develop and enhance our electricity system so that it meets the needs of modern Ireland.

The announcement took place at the ESB Networks Training Centre in Portlaoise where Network Technician apprentices complete 23 weeks of training during their four-year electrical apprenticeship. This is in addition to 42 weeks spent in Solas and the IT colleges, and significant on-the-job training segments.

There has traditionally been keen interest in the apprenticeship programme, which is open to candidates who have successfully completed their Junior certificate. This recruitment of apprentices will help fill a skills gap predicted in ESB and the energy sector over the coming years. 

Speaking at the announcement, ESB Chief Executive Pat O’Doherty said: “This programme is a critical part of the ongoing development and transformation of ESB. We are Ireland’s leading energy company, our staff are among the best in the world and are recognised globally for their skills in the energy sector. We want to continue to renew and develop this workforce, for our company and our economy. I am very pleased to announce that we will be recruiting 300 new apprentices on a phased basis over the next five years. This represents a €40m investment in the training and development of our future workforce.”

In his role as Chairman of the Apprenticeship Council, Pat O’Doherty also has a view as to the wider potential for the apprenticeship model to provide a way for Ireland to upskill its workforce and optimise the potential of its talent pool in a way that is aligned to the future skills needed in the labour market. Mr. O’Doherty added: “As an industry-led initiative, the Council is working to ensure that the development of skills in Ireland is focused on areas where there will be greatest need, thus benefiting both employers - by providing a supply of skills appropriate to the evolving needs of labour market, and apprentices - by ensuring their skills are relevant to future industry needs.”

Welcoming the announcement, Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Alex White TD said: “ESB has been training apprentices and staff in its dedicated facility in Portlaoise for 45 years. The 300 apprenticeships being announced today are a continuation of that tradition but also mark the start of quality careers in the Energy sector for 300 people. Further evidence that this Government is focussed on improving the opportunities available to all of our young people.”


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Note to Editors:

Applicants are invited to express their interest in an Electrical Apprenticeship with ESB Networks by submitting their details online by 13th March 2015 at:

Candidates will then be contacted by email and invited to formally apply by completing an online application form by 29th March 2015.

The recently published Electricity Association of Ireland report “Powering the Economy” states that two-thirds of our indigenous and multi-national companies say a high-quality electricity supply is vital part of their continuing operation in Ireland. The economic value of the energy sector in Ireland was €5.4bn in 2013.