Apprenticeship numbers 62% behind targets – Maurice Quinlivan TD
Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Business, Enterprise and Innovation Maurice Quinlivan TD today highlighted that the government’s new apprenticeship plan is failing to meet its own targets and is not delivering the number of apprentices or new apprenticeship programmes promised.
Speaking today, the Limerick City TD said;
“Figures recently released by Minister John Halligan show that only 302 apprentices are registered in new apprenticeship programmes in 2017, significantly missing the government’s own target of 800 for this year.
“In addition, only nine of the promised 15 new apprenticeship programmes have been introduced this year.
“These are significant failures early in a plan that is scheduled to run to 2020.
“I have previously highlighted that apprenticeship funding seems to have been a casualty of Fine Gael’s €335 million tax giveaway budget, and these figures reinforce this position.
“In May, I got a response from a Parliamentary Question outlining an estimated apprenticeship budget for 2018 of €135.3 million.
“A subsequent response I got to a new Parliamentary Question outlined that the actual budget for 2018 will be €122 million, over €13 million less in funding.
“If the targets aren’t being met for 2017 with the budget intact, I have serious doubts that the increased goals for 2018 will be met, considering the drop in funding already.
“The need for more apprenticeship places and alternative programmes is clear, and we need to increase this method of training and education, not just to give young people more tertiary education options, but also to equip Ireland with the skilled workers needed for growing and emerging industries.
“To miss registration targets by 62% and fail to deliver 40% of new programmes promised is both disappointing and frustrating and it highlights Fine Gael’s total disregard for this avenue of higher level education and training.”