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Applications for our 2024 apprenticeship intake is now closed.

Reliance Precision (Ireland) Apprenticeship Scheme.

Are you an engineer of the future?

Welcome to Reliance.

We are a family-owned business with sites in Bandon (County Cork) and Huddersfield (West Yorkshire, UK). We are looking for a Toolmaking Apprentice to join our team in Bandon.

What do we do? The Reliance Group provides engineering solutions for use in critical applications such as aircraft, satellites and analytical instruments. Reliance Precision Manufacturing (Ireland) Limited (or ‘RPMI’) is based in Bandon and serves as the global distribution and precision manufacturing hub for our range of standard products. We also produce ceramics used in quadrupoles for mass spectrometry. The precise nature of our work means that we manufacture and measure in microns – that’s 1000 times smaller than a millimetre.
Who are we looking for? If you have a genuine interest in engineering and a real drive to learn more, then you could be a Reliance apprentice. We are looking for individuals who are motivated, honest and reliable with great problem solving and communication skills. You’ll also need a positive approach to training, as well as being determined to work hard to develop your skills throughout your four-year apprenticeship.
Entry Requirements You should have, or expect to gain, grade D in at least five subjects in the Department of Education and Skills Junior Certificate Examination (or equivalent) including Maths and English. Candidates should also be computer literate and comfortable with the Microsoft Office Suite: (e.g. Word, PowerPoint and Excel).

Gain practical skills through hands-on training

You will learn from our innovative engineers who have decades of experience in precision engineering.

A toolmaker is a skilled engineer who produces and maintains precision tools used in the production of components. The role involves interpreting drawings and technical data to machine and assemble jigs, fixtures, moulding tools, dies and punches with great accuracy. Toolmakers require many different skills including:

  • Working safely in a manufacturing environment.
  • Accuracy with measurements and calculations.
  • Ability to interpret engineering drawings and to plan the production of a given part or product to specification.
  • Operating a range of manufacturing machinery across multiple disciplines.
  • Assembly of components.
  • Testing finished products and assessing for accuracy in accordance with drawings.
  • Understanding and use of measuring equipment.

Get paid to learn and achieve recognised qualifications

A Reliance apprenticeship is a paid position that offers rising pay as your skills increase.

You will be considered a Reliance employee, with a formal contract of employment, from the start of your apprenticeship. You will start earning from your first day and will be eligible to join our healthcare and pension schemes. Over four years, you will complete seven phases of work, some working at Reliance and some at college. As part of these phases you will be required to pass theory/practical skills exams and submit assessments to evidence your learning.
Apprentices will be required to live away for the phases not spent on-site at Reliance. A training allowance is paid by the local Education and Training Board (ETB) during phases 2, 4 and 6. You will also be provided with accommodation during this time where you will get the chance to live with apprentices from different companies around the country. Upon completing the four years of your apprenticeship you will be awarded a Level 6 Advanced Certificate Craft – Toolmaking.

After your apprenticeship

“Reliance is a great company to do an apprenticeship with. I knew I wouldn’t be suited to classroom learning so when I got the chance to do an apprenticeship, I grabbed the opportunity straight away. My advice would be, don’t let not knowing a lot about engineering stop you from applying. Between Reliance and college you’ll learn everything you need to know. As long as you have an interest in engineering and reasonably good maths skills – you’ll be fine!”

James Joyce James became an apprentice in 2016 after completing his Leaving Certificate. He did a summer placement with Reliance and it helped to confirm for him that he was better suited to a more hands-on approach to learning as opposed to being based in a classroom. He was excited to be part of the workforce, even though this was quite different to what he was used to at school. As a Toolmaking Apprentice, James was initially taught manual turning, milling, gear cutting and grinding through both his work at Reliance and his time at college. As he progressed through the phases of his apprenticeship, he was introduced to computer numerical control (CNC) machinery and programming as well as engineering drawing and design.
Although James lived locally to Reliance, he was required to live away from home for his college training. Accommodation was provided by the Education and Training Board (ETB) and he lived with other apprentices from companies around Ireland. James said:

“I loved the living away aspect of the apprenticeship. It was a great experience for me. The toolmaking community in Ireland is relatively close-knit and I’ve made some life-long friends through the course”.

James also spent time at Reliance’s Huddersfield site in West Yorkshire, UK. He was able to meet fellow apprentices and colleagues whilst gaining more experience across a wider range of equipment including 5-axis machinery.

Since completing his apprenticeship in 2020, James has continued to develop his milling and programming skills as a Toolmaker and Production Operator. He will soon begin a new role in the Inspection department where, among other things, he will use coordinate measuring machines (CMMs) to ensure components and assemblies meet specification.

How to apply

If you are interested in becoming a Reliance apprentice you can download an application form from our website. Please submit your completed application form via email or post.

Reliance Precision Manufacturing (Ireland) Limited, Parnell Street, Bandon, Co. Cork, P72 EY77, Ireland.

Opening date for applications is the TBC March 2025

Closing date for applications is the TBC May 2025