Fine Gael TD for Dublin Fingal, Alan Farrell, has said that a Government scheme to support new apprenticeships will provide great opportunities for school leavers in the North County. These will be in the areas of Manufacturing and Engineering, Tourism and Sport, Financial Services, Information Technology, Transport Distribution and Logistics, and Business Administration and Management.
“The new apprenticeships announced by the Government will provide great opportunities for school leavers in Dublin Fingal. Twenty five of the new apprenticeships are going to be prioritised and made available in the next 12 months. Up until now, apprenticeships were only available across five sectors and the expansion. We must work to incentivise small businesses to take on apprentices.
“The new apprenticeships are due to be developed over the next two months, and some of them will give participants the opportunity to gain qualifications up to a level 8, or honours undergraduate, degree as part of their training.
“Up until now apprenticeships, with the exception of printing, have been four years long leading to a Fetac Level 6 qualification. As well as keeping young people off the Live Register, an apprenticeship can now be a great way of allowing someone to attain a higher education qualification while getting practical skills and experience on the job.
“We must now do more to incentivise small businesses to take on apprentices. Fine Gael has been running a campaign called Standing Up for Small Business, which has sought the views of small business owners around the country to see what more we can do to encourage their success and help them to grow. Currently apprenticeships involve block periods working on the job and block periods in training centres. This has made it very difficult for a small business to take on an apprentice when they know that person will have to spend weeks away from their work in education. Perhaps there could be some flexibility in the amount of time the apprentice has to spend away from the workplace.
“I commend the Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation, Damien English for bringing this important scheme forward. The Government’s Action Plan for Jobs has seen over 100,000 jobs created since its launch in February 2012. We must keep going on this trajectory. Apprenticeships are a great way to ensure young people gain both the qualifications and the practical experience and skills to help them build successful careers.”