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Irish Apprenticeship System: Statements (26 May 2022)

Paul Murphy: A genuine apprenticeship programme should be a crucial part of our higher education system and we should be expanding apprenticeships to other sectors. As with other forms of education, we should also challenge the financial barriers that exist to someone taking up an apprenticeship. The then Labour Party and Fine Gael Government scandalously introduced apprenticeship fees in 2014. These...

Irish Apprenticeship System: Statements (26 May 2022)

Bernard Durkan: On a point of order, the naming of people outside the House is not in order.

Irish Apprenticeship System: Statements (26 May 2022)

Jennifer Murnane O'Connor: Thank you, Deputy Durkan. I ask Deputy Murphy not to name people outside of the House.

Irish Apprenticeship System: Statements (26 May 2022)

Paul Murphy: We need to ban these kinds of unpaid, scam internships which are undermining real jobs. We need investment in real jobs and decent apprenticeship schemes with real qualifications for workers. We also see it in the food service industry. The multibillion euro company Aramark, according to the website, is looking for seven unpaid JobBridge interns to be so-called food service associates...

Irish Apprenticeship System: Statements (26 May 2022)

Bernard Durkan: The Deputy is naming institutions. On a point of order again, the continuous naming of institutions-----

Irish Apprenticeship System: Statements (26 May 2022)

Paul Murphy: This is on the public record-----

Irish Apprenticeship System: Statements (26 May 2022)

Bernard Durkan: -----by name or in such a way as to make them identifiable is in breach of Standing Orders.

Irish Apprenticeship System: Statements (26 May 2022)

Paul Murphy: This information is on the public record.

Irish Apprenticeship System: Statements (26 May 2022)

Bernard Durkan: It is not on the record.

Irish Apprenticeship System: Statements (26 May 2022)

Jennifer Murnane O'Connor: Thank you, Deputy. Please be mindful of your obligations.

Irish Apprenticeship System: Statements (26 May 2022)

Paul Murphy: This company will have unpaid staff, subsidised by the State, working there and then will be paid by the State. Those workers will be responsible for preparing and serving food, and washing dishes and the company will not pay a single cent. Again, the workers will just get €3.43 per hour in a welfare top-up from the State. This is not just happening in our hospitals. I could name a...

Irish Apprenticeship System: Statements (26 May 2022)

Richard Bruton: I welcome this debate. We have made huge progress in apprenticeships in recent years. Back in 2015, there were just 8,000 people in apprenticeships. By 2019, this had risen to 16,000 and today the figure is 23,000. This is a dramatic transformation. Contrary to what the two Deputies now leaving the Chamber have just said, the quality of the apprenticeships is increasingly being...

Irish Apprenticeship System: Statements (26 May 2022)

Jennifer Murnane O'Connor: I welcome the strides that have been made in respect of apprenticeships and the apprenticeship system. At the start of this year, we saw a record uptake in the number of apprenticeships, especially among women. Last month, new gender-based funding was introduced for apprenticeship employees, funding which is worth over €2,000 to them. The new apprenticeship scheme opens up further...

Irish Apprenticeship System: Statements (26 May 2022)

Emer Higgins: I am glad to have the opportunity to contribute to this debate. The Minister of State, Deputy Niall Collins; the Minister, Deputy Harris; and the Department are doing excellent work to construct a better future for our young people and notably providing a pathway to education or further learning for everyone. That is welcome. I welcome the apprenticeship action plan, which will ensure we...

Irish Apprenticeship System: Statements (26 May 2022)

Patricia Ryan: We are in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis and apprentices, who are not covered by minimum wage legislation, are struggling with the rising cost of tools, travel, college fees and rent. Sinn Féin conducted a survey of apprentices and the results are shocking. A motor mechanic in Kildare who responded said, “Ireland is a hard place to live as a young person and even harder...

Irish Apprenticeship System: Statements (26 May 2022)

Thomas Gould: World Skills Ireland has warned that we need urgent investment in apprenticeship infrastructure if the Government is serious about addressing the chronic skills shortages in areas like construction. Deputy Ó Laoghaire and I recently met representatives of MTU in Cork where we heard about its ambitious plans for apprenticeships. We also heard that it is teaching apprentices in old,...

Irish Apprenticeship System: Statements (26 May 2022)

Gary Gannon: I am grateful for the opportunity to speak today on this important subject. I recognise the work that has been undertaken by the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science on the issue of apprenticeships. My contribution is not intended for the Minister of State but more to have a discussion about apprenticeships on the whole. Who they are for? Who may...

Irish Apprenticeship System: Statements (26 May 2022)

Pádraig O'Sullivan: I echo Deputy Ó Ríordáin's sentiments regarding the establishment of the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science. It has given a focus, particularly on apprenticeships, that was not there heretofore. We are heading into a phase in which the Government will be rolling out the largest retrofitting scheme in the history of the State, which...

Irish Apprenticeship System: Statements (26 May 2022)

Steven Matthews: As somebody who served an apprenticeship many years ago, I know how challenging it can be. Apprenticeships are technically challenging and, after one qualifies, some of the work can be physically challenging as well. However, there is no doubt that an apprenticeship is a very good educational opportunity that provides very transferable skills. Apprentices who have done four years of...

Irish Apprenticeship System: Statements (26 May 2022)

Aodhán Ó Ríordáin: It might surprise the Minister of State to hear me be complimentary of the Government's efforts in this field. Many, including me, were unsure as to whether breaking up the Department of Education and establishing a new Department was a good move. However, in fairness to the Minister of State, Deputy Collins, and the Minister, Deputy Harris, I think they have made it work. I feel they have...

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