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Public Consultation on the Review of Apprenticeship in Ireland - News - Young Fine Gael

Public Consultation on the Review of Apprenticeship in Ireland

Many participants to our Job Creation Survey conducted in May 2013 cited the importance of apprenticeships or internships while in the education system. At our Garret Fitzgerald Summer School Job Creation Seminar Economist Jim Power said that the importance of apprenticeships was a 'no brainer' in terms of tackling youth unemployment.

Young Fine Gael welcomes the announcement from the Minister for Education and Skills that there is to be an overhaul of the apprenticeship scheme.The Department are currently seeking submissions as part of a overall review of this scheme. Submissions should be made to the Ministers review group by August 30th at apprenticeshipreview@education.gov.ie 

Full details at http://www.education.ie/en/Press-Events/Events/Review-of-Apprenticeship-in-Ireland/

Apprenticeship system a vital part of tackling youth unemployment - Extracts from http://www.irishtimes.com/business/sectors/manufacturing/apprenticeship-system-a-vital-part-of-tackling-youth-unemployment-1.1459416

German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged other Governments to focus more on apprenticeships and prevent reliance on academic study. The German Chancellor remarked how Germany is now in a position to offer an apprenticeship to every young person that wanted one. The dual system of learning in the classroom and on-the-job training proved vital to be in that position.In the UK, Prime Minister David Cameron said in March 2013 that apprenticeships were going to play an important role in rebuilding the UK economy. The international awarding body City and Guilds, brought together employers, training centres and apprentices has seen an increase of a million apprenticeships between 2011 and 2013. The international awarding body offers 170 roles in over 25 industries. The National Apprenticeship Service saw a 32% increase in their online application submitted between February and April 2013 compared with the same period last year.

Europe's economic engine and our closest neighbour rate apprenticeships very highly in terms of tackling youth unemployment so how does Ireland compare? According to the International Labour Organisation report November 2012, per 1000 apprentices employed Ireland just employed 10, Germany employed 39.

Judging by Ireland's performance at Olympic and World skills, Ireland does favorably in terms of quality but poor at volume. Only 26 traditional trades are open to apprenticeships. Structurally, it is very market driven, can be expensive and training provision can be rigid.

It was in 1990's when Ireland conducted its last fundamental review of apprenticeships. This resulted in a change from a 'time served' basis to a standard 'competency based' system. The inflated and unsustainable demand in the property led to a miserly 10% of apprentices currently compared to its peak.

The new system should reflect the time necessary to acquire new skills and knowledge according to Henry Murdoch (retired assistant director general responsible for apprenticeship system in FAS). Mr. Murdoch also believes that interim certificates should be introduced. This would help those in particular who have been made redundant or to progress to other qualifications.

Ireland can learn a lot from Germany and the UK when reviewing the apprentice structure system. With just a quarter of the people aged between 15 and 24 working, Ireland needs evolve and develop in an ever-changing dynamic and challenging economic climate. 

Apprenticeship system a vital part of tackling youth unemployment

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