The Manufacturing Technician and Manufacturing Engineering apprenticeship programmes offer higher certificate and degree awards over a 2 and 3 year period. The apprenticeship programme is a blended combination of 70% on-the-job employer-based training and 30% off-the-job training. The focus is on cognitive skills (thinking, learning, reasoning) and metacognitive skills (planning, problem-solving, monitoring, self-assessing), as well as the “hard” technical skills required by engineers and technicians. Companies can either upskill existing employees or attract young school leavers and grow their own talent. A pass leaving cert is required as the minimum entry requirement but if the apprentice is over 23 they are exempt.