Gas Networks Ireland today launched a new Apprenticeship Programme for the first time in 30 years. 

The company which owns, operates, develops and maintains the natural gas network in Ireland will create over 50 opportunities across the programme.

Speaking at the launch, Minister for Energy Alex White said almost 1,000 new apprenticeship places had been announced this year. 

"The technicians who will emerge from this programme will play an important role in developing and maintaining the gas network. 

"By working with new technologies like biogas and compressed natural gas, they will also help deliver on Ireland’s commitment to clean energy," Minister White added. 

During the four year programme, apprentices will be able to develop crafts in areas such as electrical instrumentation, pipefitting or mechanical automation and maintenance fitting.  

Liam O'Sullivan, Managing Director, Gas Networks Ireland said the apprenticeship offered successful applicants a great start to their career. 

An initial 14 apprentices will be hired in September 2015. The application process opened today. It will close on April 25.