Thursday, 14 January 2021
Covid-19 (Higher Education): Statements
I thank Deputies Devlin and Matthews for their queries on the subject of apprenticeships, which is a major part of our programme for Government. We are very keen, as a new Department, to destigmatise the apprenticeships area and put these centre stage in our further education and training sphere. We hope to make this a very viable, attractive and rewarding career path and way of finding job options for people.
The new apprenticeship action plan is in gestation and the consultation period has closed. There was a high level of engagement with the consultations and they are now being assessed. In essence, we want to see a very strong pipeline of apprenticeships and traineeships, and we want to grow that number significantly. The commitment in the programme is to grow those numbers between now and 2025 to approximately 10,000 per annum. As Deputy Matthews has referenced, we are keen to ramp up the number of green apprenticeships and to provide new apprenticeships in non-traditional areas. One of our most important commitments and concerns is to promote more gender balance in apprenticeships as there has been very poor representation of women. These are concerns of which we are aware and that we want to address.