Just 0.3% of all apprentices in training are female – Maurice Quinlivan TD
Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Enterprise and Innovation Maurice Quinlivan TD has criticised the current apprenticeship system as only 0.3% of the total apprentice population in 2016 were female.
Speaking today the Limerick City TD said;
"Apprenticeships should be valued for the excellent method of training and education they provide, equipping people with the skills and knowledge they need across a range of industries.
“Apprenticeship training throughout Europe is offered as an equal alternative to full-time third level education that gives individuals the opportunity to learn, earn, and gain work experience while working towards a qualification.
“Unfortunately the current system here is suffering from years of government neglect and is in dire need of investment and reform.
“The number of apprenticeships programmes in this State is very limited, with just 30 available, whereas for example Austria has over 200 and Germany over 300. In addition, the majority of these are in the construction sector, failing to provide for other growing and emerging sectors.
“The participation rates of women and people with disabilities are shockingly poor. In 2016, there were 10,315 apprentices in training, and only 33 of these were female. In addition only 1.7% of the total apprenticeship population were people with disabilities.
“Data on the number of members of the travelling community engaged in apprenticeship training is not even available. How does Fine Gael expect to ‘promote greater Traveller participation in apprenticeships’ as set out in the National Traveller and Roma Inclusion Strategy 2017 – 2021, if they do not even have data on the numbers currently involved?
“It is clear the current apprenticeship system is broken, and the diversity and inclusion rates are of serious concern.
“Last week I published a policy document outlining Sinn Féin’s plans for reform of the apprenticeship system. We want the numbers engaged in apprenticeship training to rise to 46,000 by 2022 and expand the number of programmes to 100. We want far greater participation rates of the demographics outlined above and trade union involvement to protect workers’ rights.
“The government’s current plans are progressing at a snail’s pace, as only 79 people last year got the opportunity to partake in a newly developed apprenticeship programme. The Minister needs to commit to reform and expansion of this system, and address the worrying inclusion problems highlighted."