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Sinn Féin launches 5 year apprenticeship strategy – Maurice Quinlivan TD

23 August, 2017 - by Maurice Quinlivan TD

Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Enterprise and Innovation, Maurice Quinlivan TD has today launched a five year plan on apprenticeships, aiming to provide 46,000 apprenticeship places by 2022, and increase the number of apprenticeship programmes from 30 to 100.

Speaking at the launch of the policy document in Leinster House, Teachta Quinlivan said;

“Our aim with this five year strategy is to significantly expand the apprenticeship system, open it up to more people, and promote apprenticeships as another choice in the third level sector.

“Apprenticeships offer a tried and tested method of developing highly skilled workers using a mixture of course work and practical on the job learning.

“In Ireland there can be a belief that after secondary school, the choice is to go to college or straight into the workforce. This can lead to people choosing a degree course for the sake of it, which can then result in students dropping out of the course. Or on the other hand it can mean that a person’s education stops after their leaving certificate, if they take up full-time employment.

“We want to provide another significant avenue, to give people the widest possible choice in their education and career prospects. Apprenticeship training will allow people to earn, learn and gain work experience whilst also working towards a qualification. In additional it will help equip Ireland with the skilled workers it needs for growing and emerging industries in the coming years.

“Apprenticeships in the construction and motor industries are highly developed and well regarded in Ireland, and we want to expand this success to other areas including green energy, hospitality, retail, manufacturing and financial services.

“We also want to make the apprenticeship system more accessible to people with a disability, and increase the female participation rate. For example in 2016, only 33 apprentices out of the total apprenticeship population of 10,315 were female. Developing a centralised application system will also take the ‘need to know someone’ aspect out of getting an apprenticeship.

“The government have also proposed expanding the apprenticeship system, but their progress to date has been extremely slow. Only 5 new apprenticeship programmes have been introduced since 85 were proposed by the Apprenticeship Council back in 2015, giving just 79 people got the opportunity to participate in a newly developed course last year."

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