TD says Laois-Offaly should become an apprenticeship hub
Laois TD and future Laois-Offaly election candidate Brian Stanley TD raised in the Dáil the issue of apprenticeships and the opportunity that companies like Bord na Móna and the ESB have to now create new long-term jobs in Laois and Offaly.
“Apprenticeships offer great opportunities for young people to develop long-term careers and to earn at a young age. We have great examples from other countries that encourage vocational training for young people that is neglected here. We are limiting young people’s opportunities," the Sinn Féin deputy said.
"Apprenticeships should not be seen as a second option to college, but seen as a legitimate long-term career option for school leavers," Stanley added.
"In Germany’s vocational training programmes offers an alternative to higher education, and caters for about 60% of the country’s young people. In Ireland only 2% of school leavers do an apprenticeship. In Germany they have some 348 apprenticeships, Ireland has only 41."
"Apprenticeships offer an alternative to college for young people who often do not want an academic route but prefer and thrive in a more vocational career. It’s an opportunity for employment for young people whose only option may be to go straight into a job with little progression. Apprenticeships give young people an opportunity to begin working, contribute and to earn while you learn."
"We had in the Midlands the recent announcement of huge job losses at Bord na Móna. In the past Bord na Móna and ESB were great employers providing apprenticeships, in many different trades. In the transition from fossil fuels, to clean green indigenous renewable energy this gives new opportunities. This is in the areas of vital energy sources such as biogas and biomass, as well as other areas, such as horticulture, manufacturing, tourism and waste recycling," Deputy Stanley said.
"Laois and Offaly should be a Hub of huge future employment and apprenticeship opportunities. It is something I am pushing to make sure this Government and Bord na Móna act for the people of Laois & Offaly, and create jobs and apprenticeships, that are badly needed. We must not continue to limit young people’s options; they need long-term jobs and careers. The government must expand the range of apprenticeships,” Brian concluded.