Decision to not progress with piloted Shared Apprenticeship Scheme in construction sector is premature
New info reveals pilot project for enabling builders to share apprenticeships
has been abandoned with no replacement to date
Fianna Fáil Housing Spokesperson, Darragh O’Brien TD has criticised the Government’s failure to replace a Shared Apprenticeship Scheme model in Ireland.
The Deputy received details this month which indicates that the successfully piloted Shared Apprenticeship Scheme carried out between SOLAS, in partnership with Construction Industry Federation (CIF) and the Waterford Wexford Education and Training Board (WWETB) in 2017 will not be adopted.
Despite the known success of this model in boosting apprenticeship numbers in Britain, the pilot initiative to test the viability of the same scheme here in Ireland will not be extended.
It is now understood that while discussions with the construction industry are on-going, no replacement has been put in place.
Deputy O’Brien said, “Getting to grips with the ongoing housing crisis in this country urgently demands more skilled workers to ramp up the construction of units and put bricks and mortar in the ground.
“The Construction Industry Federation has predicted that 3,840 construction related apprentices will be required by 2020. In the region of 2,500 apprenticeships were registered in 2017 during the pilot initiative but now that’s gone to the wall and we have no plan in place to boost the intake.
“Young people need to be given a clearer avenue and more opportunity to take up work in the construction sector so that we are better able secure the scale of workforce required to build affordable homes across Ireland.
Shared Apprenticeships Schemes are mutually beneficial when appropriately managed and have the potential to encourage young perspective construction workers, reduce costs for the builders that take them on and support smaller companies expand.
“This decision to abandon the pilot project is incredibly premature given we need to attract and retain apprenticeships for both employers and employees alike.
Ireland’s ability to attract skill sets in construction is already limited and now we’ve restricted it even more during a time we should be nurturing those interested in pursuing construction work.
He concluded, “I am calling on the Minister for Skills, John Halligan TD to accelerate discussions between SOLAS and the construction industry and also reconsider the shared mechanism designed to boost the number of apprentices,” Deputy O’Brien concluded.