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Fall in apprenticeship numbers despite Irish Government efforts.
Kelly Ohlmus

Fall in apprenticeship numbers despite Irish Government efforts.

Despite government efforts to increase the number of people who pursue apprenticeships, there was a drop in 2022 who registered.

Despite government strategies to increase the number of people who pursue apprenticeships, there was a drop of more than 300 apprenticeship registrations last year compared to 2021 — down from 8,607 to 8,286.

There could be several reasons people are not registering for building and trade apprenticeships. However, a recent article in the Irish Times highlighted that finances could be a barrier for most people.


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Minimum Wage Turning People Off Apprenticeships

As reported, it appears that pay scales are well sort of the country's minimum rates due to an existing clause in current legislation exempting apprentices from minimum wage legislation - with more than 8000 apprentices earning as little as €6.84 over the coming year.

For example, those starting to become electricians will initially earn €8.45 per hour, short of the €10.50 minimum wage.

As apprentice pay rates are based on percentages of qualified workers earning, rates do eventually improve. However, this initial pay scale is a barrier for anyone looking to take up an apprenticeship.

There is an appeal from the Connect union to amend the National Minimum Wage Act 2000.


Reforming Apprenticeship Model

A recent article in the Irish Examiner also states that the government is considering introducing a two-year traineeship aimed to get more workers into construction jobs.

It's very early days on how the apprenticeship model will be reformed, but initial idea is that the traineeship could run in parallel with apprenticeships, with workers out on sites after two years for certain trades.

Overall, governments and businesses need to ensure that apprenticeships are available and filled to support a skilled and productive workforce, however, there are still barriers and a reluctance to register for building and trade apprenticeships.


Do you have experiences or thoughts related to this topic?

We would love to hear from you in the comments below. Whether you're a current or former apprentice, an employer, or someone simply interested in the topic, your perspectives and contributions can help to create a lively and informative discussion. So, don't hesitate to share your thoughts and share this post with others who may find it useful.

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