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09 Aug 2022

Louth's Ó Murchú says apprenticeship issues need to be fixed

Sinn Féin TD says students, but particularly apprentices, are impacted by the ongoing cost of living crisis

Louth's Ó Murchú says apprenticeship issues need to be fixed

Louth's Ó Murchú says apprenticeship issues need to be fixed

Issues with apprenticeships need to be fixed in order to ensure they are attractive enough for school leavers, according to Louth TD, Ruairí Ó Murchú, who used time in Leinster House last week to also highlight the need for workforce planning.
Deputy Ó Murchú said students, but particularly apprentices, are impacted by the ongoing cost of living crisis, as well as a backlog in apprenticeships.

He said: “It is unfair that somebody could sign up for a four-year apprenticeship that ends up being five or six years. That has a huge economic and wider impact on the apprentices and their families. These are issues we need to get to grips with’.
“There is now a much different world in relation to employment opportunities and further education, particularly in Dundalk.”

The Sinn Féin TD said: “I welcome the likes of the advanced manufacturing training centre of excellence in Xerox Technology Park in Dundalk, with which the Louth and Meath Education and Training Board was highly involved.
“We need to deal with industry from the point of view of providing the added training that will be required. We also need to make sure we do the work in relation to apprenticeships and PLCs and look at people who find it difficult to get into that educational framework.

“I have spoken to the Minister about projects in the Redeemer Centre where certain modules were provided in a setting people might have been more comfortable with, before continuing on to DkIT, or so on.
“We have a huge amount of work to do in dealing with those sorts of issues’.

And while he welcomed the apprenticeships in the climate change and retrofitting spheres, other apprenticeships such as plumbing need to be looked at to “ensure those skills are included within the training framework”.
Workforce planning has to be at the heart of the education response, he said.

“I met lately with people from the nursing and midwifery course in DkIT and I spoke about the possibilities for expansion, which would require capital investment in space and staffing. There needs to be a further audit of what is necessary. We all know the work that needs to be done in research and development”, he added.

“Many of us will have been contacted by the Institute of Physics in Ireland about these issues. We need more of that workforce planning and an audit of the skill sets required in order to ensure we have the training frameworks required for that throughput of people”.

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