Apprenticeships must be attractive, accessible and affordable

construction

John Curran T.D. has said the ambitious apprenticeship policy published by Fianna Fáil (FF) will make apprenticeships in Ireland attractive, accessible and affordable. Deputy Curran was commenting as FF launched a policy document which would modernise the apprenticeship system in Ireland. Deputy Curran explained, “Contained in this document is a number of proposals including increasing the number of women taking part in apprenticeships, increasing apprenticeships in public organisations and technology companies, and opening regional apprenticeship offices. “We believe these proposals will bring Ireland in line with best practice when it comes to apprenticeships in the rest of Europe. At the moment we are lagging far behind Britain in the scale and diversity of apprenticeships currently offered here. “In my own area of Dublin Mid-West apprenticeships should offer students a real alternative to further education and entry into the work force.

“In 2018 the Government only managed to hit a quarter of its modest apprenticeship targets while in 2017 it managed only 4 in 10. The Restaurant Association of Ireland (RAI) says the acute shortage of chefs is widening by at least 3,200 annually and the construction sector is experiencing a serious skills shortage, with the country in the depths of a housing crisis, this simply isn’t good enough. “The most pressing issue of all in this area is the need to rebalance the number of women taking part in apprenticeships. In 2018 less than 5% of apprenticeships were undertaken by women, compared with over half in the UK. The bursary currently in place is clearly not enough. Adequate supports must be facilitated, including with State training agencies to move towards parity at much greater speed. “The apprenticeship system in Ireland needs to be brought into the 21st century. That means harnessing government departments such as the HSE, the OPW, the Department of Foreign Affairs and others to provide these places. “It means developing apprenticeship offices that people can visit to learn about the opportunities which are available to them. It means ensuring that companies which offer apprenticeships in other jurisdictions such as Facebook, Amazon, and Google do the same in Ireland. These proposals and more are in our policy document,” concluded Deputy Curran.

Sarah Brooks

Sarah Brooks

Sarah has worked in marketing and content creation for many years. In her role at Newsgroup, she is the online editor of www.newsgroup.ie with a particular interest in local news and events. Sarah also works closely with our editorial team on our printed editions in Tallaght, Lucan, Clondalkin and Rathcoole/Saggart. If you have a story and would like to make contact please email Sarah at info@newsgroup.ie.

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