Increasing the Role Apprenticeship Schemes Play in Education and Youth Employment

Increasing the Role Apprenticeship Schemes Play in Education and Youth Employment
Resolution for YFG National Conference 2013, Tower Hotel Waterford
Sunday 24 November
Presented by: YFG National Executive

Recognising:

- That many participants in YFG Job Creation survey cited the importance of access to apprenticeships or internship while in the education system
- That youth unemployment in Ireland remains at almost 30%, nearly 7% above the EU average
- That Ireland has only 29 recognised trades while Germany has 342 recognised trades—Ireland has traditionally associated the scheme with the construction and other related industries, whereas, in Germany, it extends to a much bigger variety of industries
- Germany operates a dual system of learning and on-the-job training in their education system
- That in the UK, Prime Minister David Cameron said that apprenticeship schemes would play an important role in rebuilding the UK economy and the awarding body City and Guilds has seen an increase in a million of apprentices between 2011 and 2013.
- That the last fundamental review of schemes came in the 1990's when the changes implemented resulted in a 'competency based system' to a 'time-served basis'.

Acknowledging:

- That the Minister for Education and Skills announced an overhaul of the apprenticeship scheme will take place
- That German Chancellor Angela Merkel, based on the successes in Germany, calls on other government to reduce reliance on academic study and more focus on apprenticeship scheme. Germany as Europe's economic engine and our closest neighbour rate apprenticeships very highly in terms of tackling youth unemployment
- Ireland's current structure is very market driven, can be expensive, and that duration and training can be rigid
- Former assistant director of apprenticeship with Fás, says the a reformed system must reflect the necessary time to acquire new skills and knowledge
- Ireland's youth unemployment rate still stubbornly high, a new reformed system must be implemented as soon as possible

YFG calls on:

- The Government to recognise the importance of apprenticeship scheme in tackling youth unemployment.
- The Government to introduce new interim certificates to apprentices, which would help them to progress to other qualifications and further training, especially in those cases where apprentices have been made redundant.
- The Government to break the link between the apprenticeship pay rate to the fully qualified rate, this is costly and the change would allow for more opportunities for both employers and apprentices.
- The Government to break the dependence on academic route to train young people for entry to the workforce

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