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European Vocational Skills Week
News announcement12 November 2020Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion

I started my apprenticeship at 16 and haven’t looked back


© 2020, Cormac Thompson

I was interested in an apprenticeship as I always preferred the more practical subjects in school. I applied for the aircraft engineer apprenticeship with Aer Lingus during the summer before I was due to start my Leaving Certificate year, as I felt it would be good experience for the following year. Then I was offered a place, so after thinking about it I decided it was worth taking the risk of not doing my Leaving Certificate and starting the apprenticeship instead. I’m very happy today that I made that decision to start my apprenticeship.

I started my apprenticeship at the age of 16 in September 2014 and haven’t looked back since. The people I worked with throughout my time as an apprentice supported me, helping me gain the experience necessary to complete my apprenticeship along the way. During my apprenticeship I competed twice in the National Skills Competition and I was then lucky enough to be selected to represent Ireland.

I represented Ireland at the World Skills Competition in Kazan, Russia 2019, which involved several weeks of intense training before heading off to compete in a very tough competition.