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Apprenticeships offer a unique avenue to earn, learn, gain valuable work experience – Quinlivan

30 May, 2019 - by Maurice Quinlivan TD

Sinn Féin TD and spokesperson for Business and Innovation Maurice Quinlivan today said the state must act to increase the number of people undertaking apprenticeships, 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.

Deputy Quinlivan was speaking at the launch of the Joint Oireachtas Committee’s Report on The Role of Apprenticeships and Work Permits in Addressing Ireland’s Skills Needs, which took place in Leinster House this morning.

Speaking this morning at the launch of the report, the Limerick City TD said:

“Apprenticeships offer a unique avenue to earn, learn, gain valuable work experience, and work towards an internationally recognised qualification and a rewarding career.

“The apprenticeship system in Ireland is underutilised and it offers the government an opportunity to both reduce the number of people who remain on the live register and also tackle the growing skills shortage across a number of industries.

“Ireland is suffering from a significant shortage of skilled workers, so it is imperative we increase the number of people undertaking apprenticeships, to ensure we have the workers to build the houses of the future that are so badly needed.

“Through our examination of this topic, we identified that better communication between parents and guidance counsellors is needed to highlight the advantages of apprenticeships. This is essential as parents have a significant role in helping a young person choose their next step in life after the Leaving Cert.

“Unfortunately, too many young people feel like they need to go to college, instead of considering an apprenticeship which could be more suited to their skills.

“Recommendation 11 in this report highlights the need to take action to increase the female participation rate in apprenticeships, which remains far too low.

“At the moment, just 341 women are undertaking an apprenticeship, out of an apprenticeship population of some 15,373. This is unacceptably low.

“This report also identifies the need to take action is taken to put in place supports for people with a disability to part-take in apprenticeships.

“Information we have received from SOLAS show that their records indicate just 371 people with disabilities were engaged in apprenticeships in 2018. This is again, an unacceptably low rate of participation and needs immediate attention.

​"​We have to establish apprenticeships as a real alternative career choice for people, we need to champion this method of education and training.” 

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