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National Skills Competition shows clearly that apprenticeships need to be valued by Government – Nolan

16 June, 2016

Speaking after attending the National Skills Competition in Dublin Institute of Technology in Bolton Street today, Sinn Féin spokesperson on Education and Skills, Deputy Carol Nolan has said that there is a clear need for the Government to support and value young apprentices.

The Offaly TD said:

“I would like to commend the staff of DIT and the apprentices for their contribution to the national skills competition, which is an opportunity to showcase the talent and creativity of apprentices across Ireland.

“The quality of craftsmanship on display was exceptional and is testament to the efforts of both staff and apprentices alike.

“It is clear from talking to the staff at the institute that the recent economic climate has had a huge impact on the apprenticeship sector in general.

“The numbers of apprentices at the institute currently stands at 1,000 from 1,878 in 2010/2011 as a decline in construction led to a reduced intake at the college.

“However, there is a growing demand for apprentices and I welcome the fact that, under the National Skills Strategy, the Department of Education and Skills has set a target for the support of 50,000 apprenticeships and traineeship places up to 2020.

“As I outlined to the Minister yesterday in the chamber during the debate on the revised estimates for Education and Skills, the increased funding of €3 million towards the provision of apprenticeships is insufficient to meet these targets and in fact, will provide for just over 6,500 apprenticeship places across the state.

“It is my view that apprenticeships should be fostered and encouraged as an attractive option for school leavers who demonstrate an aptitude for craftsmanship and creativity and the Government must provide adequate support to young people who choose this path.” 

Caption for attached photograph: Deputy Carol Nolan pictured with Professor Gerald Farrell, Director and Dean of the College of Engineering and the Built Environment in front of one of the entries into the National Skills Competition

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