Tipperary apprentice is finalist in Ireland’s first ever Generation Apprenticeship Competition

Cahir man will submit final challenge today

Sian Moloughney


Sian Moloughney

Tipperary apprentice is finalist in Ireland’s first ever Generation Apprenticeship Competition

Patrick Doocey from Cahir is one of seven apprentices who are part of an innovative national competition celebrating design, team-working and the problem-solving skills of Irish apprentices and are working to a deadline of 6th April 2018.

The competition, which is part of the Generation Apprenticeship campaign, involves teams of apprentices creating 6-foot, 3-dimensional A letters using a diverse range of design skills.

The team of seven all work for Jones Engineering Group as electrical and mechanical apprentices are:

Patrick Doocey,  Electrical Apprentice
Liam Kane,  Mechanical Apprentice 
Aaron Cassells,  Mechanical Apprentice 
Ryan Doyle, Mechanical Apprentice 
Paul Burnett,  Electrical Apprentice 
Michael Kinsella, Electrical Apprentice 
Michael Murray, Mechanical Apprentice 

Entries to the competition use materials and techniques to design and construct the 3-dimensional As including a range of moving parts, electronics, wood, metal, stone, piping, water and electrical circuits. In the commis chef apprentices’ entry they reflect on the colour and magic of their chosen careers. Each team is recording video diaries of their work over the coming weeks and posting updates on their progress via social media.

The team from Jones Engineering Group are building their 6-foot, 3-dimensional interpretation of the Apprenticeship ‘A’ from materials they use on a daily basis. They decided on a bicycle generator. The bicycle is attached to an alternator from a car by means of a drive belt. This in turn is attached to a 12v battery which creates the power. When the bicycle is being pedalled, it charges up the battery.

‘We decided on a bicycle generator because it was fun and will encourage those who can see the structure to ‘have a go’. As seven working class lads we know how powerful interaction can be, especially with things that seem complicated. This is very true for school children who might look at electrical, mechanical and plumbing as something that is beyond their capability. We hope they can see that the opposite is the case. They can have fun, create great things and have productive careers’.  

The entries will be exhibited in the Arts Garden and interior of the National College of Ireland and will be open to viewing by the public from 9th-30th April in the College, which has generously agreed to host the national competition in its first year. A gala awards ceremony will be held at the end of the exhibition to announce the winning entry which will become a permanent installation.


Mary-Liz said:


“I was blown away by the energy, imagination and commitment on display, not to mention the craft and detailed work on show. The work is beautiful, skilfully finished and polished, but also ground-breaking in the way that each team has combined teamwork, critical thinking and problem-solving to create their entries. This is something we want to highlight and apprentices from diverse backgrounds have so much to offer in this regard. These insights offer new possibilities about the role of apprenticeship, including for those thinking about a change in career or returning to work. Apprenticeship leads to consistent and continuous career paths.”


The competition aims to highlight the importance and value of apprenticeships as a route to skills development in 21stcentury Ireland. It will also highlight the strong tradition of craft-based apprenticeships and the new industries in which apprenticeships are now available, including advanced manufacturing, engineering, finance and hospitality.

In addition to receiving support from the Department of Education and Skills and SOLAS, the competition is being sponsored by ESB and the Construction Industry Federation. An independent judging panel will select the winning entry with reference to the competition criteria of design skills, teamwork, critical thinking and problem-solving.