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Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Dr. Twomey has highlighted the situation of up to 300 apprentices in county Wexford to the Minister for Education and Skills in the Seanad last week. “These apprentices are not in a position to complete their apprenticeship training because they are no longer working for the employer to whom they would have expected to return following their spell in college. It is estimated that approximately 7,000 individuals throughout the country are in limbo in terms of not being able to complete their apprenticeship training, mostly electricians, carpenters and others involved in the construction industry which is experiencing a massive downturn. There is a need for the Government to take more action to ensure these individuals to finish their apprenticeships as soon as possible. If they were able to do so, it would, at least, give them an opportunity to travel abroad to seek work and make a living for themselves.”

“FAS has the funds to provide a weekly subsidy of €250 for their employers towards employment costs, so the Minister should be looking at placing them in areas that would not have traditionally taken on such apprentices, such as the Army / the Navy and Local Authorities. There is a fear that the Unions may be blocking the apprentices finishing their apprenticeships as the Unions want them to earn €600 per week in their final year but this is not sustainable. It is more important to facilitate these young people to complete their apprenticeships. “

“If these apprentices were college students and the Government closed down the institution at which they were studying, there would be uproar if they were prevented from completing their courses because this would jeopardise their chances of obtaining employment either here or abroad. The Government needs to do more and at a faster rate. FAS has the resources so they should be working as quickly as possible help these apprentices.”