Employers will be entitled to a financial incentive of €3,000 to take on apprentices under a new scheme to be announced today.

Minister for Higher Education and Innovation Simon Harris wants to expand the model to include more sectors of the economy as it recovers from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

More than 18,000 people are currently undertaking an apprenticeship across a wide range of occupations.

They include positions in electrical, construction and engineering areas to healthcare, information technology and financial services.

Minister Harris said it was an exciting option for people of different ages and backgrounds and for career changers, as well as school leavers.

The minister wants to see the numbers grow and the Government provided funding in the July stimulus package for this purpose.

He will announce a €3,000 financial incentive for employers who take on new apprentices between March and the end of the year.

Mr Harris said these apprentices will play a key part in Ireland's recovery and the country's future.