Announcing the 2020 Generation Apprenticeship competition for apprentice teams around the country

Competition Brief

What is the competition about?

Now in its third year, the Generation Apprenticeship competition celebrates the best teamwork, leadership, creativity and problem-solving skills of Ireland’s apprentices.

The competition has two categories in Year 3 to showcase skills across the full spectrum of apprenticeship programmes.

In Category 1, teams of apprentices are challenged to use the materials, equipment and tools of their industry to design and produce a 6-foot, 3-dimensional A letter that is based on the Generation Apprenticeship brand.

In Category 2, teams of apprentices use the base of a standard three-dimensional A ‘backdrop’ to represent their industry in creative and visual ways.

The first two years of the competition included excellent examples of both categories of entry. Each category will be judged separately by an independent team of judges. Teams in the second category will be assisted in sourcing their 3D backdrop A.

The winning team in each category will be awarded a cash prize of €1,500, with the runner up teams each awarded €1,000.

The 2020 competition introduces a sustainability prize, spanning both categories of entries. The inaugural winner of this new prize will demonstrate the value they hold for the planet through their industry. The judges will be seeking evidence of industry innovation in sustainability, presented in a manner that catches the attention of the judges.

The team who have made the greatest use of social media to document their competition journey and promote Generation Apprenticeship will also receive a dedicated award.

The finalist entries will be showcased at a high profile exhibition with the winners entries announced as part of a glittering awards ceremony.

Teams of apprentices are now invited to reproduce large scale 3D versions of the Generation Apprenticeship “A” Brand

How can each team of apprentices take part?

The competition is open to ALL current apprentices, during either on- or off the job training.

It is FREE to enter.

All you need to do now is to develop an outline idea and register your interest to enter via the short competition entry form below by 17:00hrs Friday 18 October 2019. Email your entry form to

Download Entry Form [PDF 166kb] and email to

Guidelines on building your ‘A’

  • Maximum team size

    Individual teams cannot exceed 10 apprentices.

  • Dimensions

    The 3D A should have the following specifications - H180cm X W160cm x D80cm. Category 2 teams will be assisted in sourcing their standard 3D backdrop A.

  • Materials

    Entries may be constructed using a diverse range of diverse material - from paper to wood to metal, piping, electrical wiring, liquid, treated edible materials. The cost of materials and development will be covered by supporting providers and/or employers.

  • Energy

    Entries may incorporate various forms of technology, software as well as electricity and other forms of energy as part of the structure.

  • Colour

    The A can be any colour/combination of colours

  • Portability

    The design of your A sculpture must include consideration of how it will be transported to and from the exhibition venue.

  • Supporting report

    Each entry must be accompanied by a short report on its design and creation; this report may be presented in a visual, audio or written format. Video reports must not exceed 6 minutes in length.

A number of competition workshops will be held November 2019 - February 2020 to help you develop your entry.

You will have until Monday 16 March 2020 to complete your build, with your entry transported to the exhibition venue during 16-18 March, and the exhibition of the 2020 A sculptures opening Thursday 19 March.

Each competition entry will be judged on four criteria - teamwork, leadership, creativity and problem-solving.

Finalist teams in both categories will present their entry in the form of a short, dynamic ‘elevator pitch’ during Ireland Skills Live 2020.

Overview of four competition phases October 2019 –March 2020, exhibition and awards ceremony

  • Phase 1 - October-November 2019

    Apprentice teams are formed and they complete their competition brief which includes core information on their idea/vision, contribution to Ireland's apprenticeship ambition and sustainability goals, 2D outline, materials to be used, description of finished work, process for development and creation. A helpful template for the competition brief is provided by SOLAS to each team.

    Each team emails the competition brief to by Friday 15 November 2019.

  • Phase 2 - November 2019 - February 2020

    Workshops are held with competition entrants, providing impartial expert advice on design and production and supporting development of each A sculpture. Teams plan their approach to sourcing materials, work on their entries and share updates of their progress via their social media networks.

  • Phase 3 - Monday 16 March 2020 Competition entry completed

    Completed A sculpture, developed by the apprentice team. Each sculpture is accompanied by a short report on its design and creation, presented in a visual, audio or written format.

  • Phase 4 - Elevator pitch at Ireland Skills Live end March 2020

    A high energy event as part of Ireland Skills Live. The finalist teams go to the core of their work and explain how the alchemy created by teamwork, leadership, creativity and problem-solving gives a future-proofed dimension to skills development in Ireland today. Prizes are awarded to the top 3 teams.

  • March - April 2020

    Competition entries are on display at the designated venue, and are judged by an independent panel.

  • April 2020

    The winning entries (Category 1 and Category 2) are announced at a glittering awards ceremony.