Apprenticeships need to become a popular choice for young people again, according to Sinn Féin.
The party wants to see 60,000 more apprentices over the next five years and three times the number of programmes on offer.
It also says student fees for apprentices should be abolished.
Party spokesperson on business Maurice Quinlivan said it would address serious needs in the economy.
He said: "A load of stakeholders the last couple of months, retail will tell you and construction will tell you, Construction Federation themselves reckon then need 112,000 people to be employed for the jobs and houses we intend to build in the next couple of years.
"They're simply not there, the skills aren't there. We've lost a huge skillset due to the economic collapse and people emigrating."