ONE of the many disheartening consequences of our economic collapse was the all but complete collapse in apprenticeship schemes.
This sad reality, combined with a trend that put an out-of-kilter emphasis on third-level education, served nobody well, least of all those young people who would have thrived as an apprentice but might not have enjoyed more academic study.
Though starting from a pretty low base, the news that the number of apprenticeships in 2015 is expected to be double the 2012 figure is welcome.
Unsurprisingly the greatest growth is recorded in the construction sector. Of almost 3,000 people expected to be registered in apprenticeships, almost 700 will be learning the traditional crafts associated with building.
Tomorrow more than 50,000 students will get their Leaving Certificate results and the majority of them will know whether they can get a place in a third-level college. However, as these figures now show, there is a real and attractive alternative career path — an apprenticeship in a trade.
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