MORE than 2,000 young people who have almost completed apprenticeships will not get qualifications next year as expected because they are unable to secure work placements.
The Labour Party is calling on the Government to ensure all building projects paid for by the state use a certain number of apprentices on work placements so they can get qualifications in the trades they have trained for.
New figures from the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, show that, of those due to complete their apprenticeships in the next six to 12 months, 2,365 are unable to get work placements which are necessary for qualifications in their trades.
* 1,656 in construction.
* 536 in electrical trades.
* 68 in engineering.
* 105 in the motor trade.
This is “very disappointing and needs to be addressed,” according to Labour’s spokesperson on local government Ciarán Lynch.
He said these are young people who have worked in the trade for a number of years are qualified in all but name.
“Employers who in previous years would have been only too delighted to offer a job placement, and even a job, to these apprentices, are now either shedding staff, or have gone out of business altogether. As a result, these apprentices are now in a bind and cannot complete their training,” said the Cork South Central TD.
He said employment levels will pick up again and the Government must ensure that when this does happen, people will be armed with the best possible qualifications to enter the jobs market.
“This means making sure that these workers can be facilitated with an appropriate work placement,” he said.
“One way of addressing this would be to require companies who tender for relevant public contracts for say the construction of a school, to provide a certain number of job placements in line with the size of the contract. In that way, we could ensure that these workers, who are qualified in all but name, can complete all the formalities,” said Mr Lynch.
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