Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Questions (95)

Tom Fleming


95. Deputy Tom Fleming asked the Minister for Education and Skills the action he is taking to revive and enhance the apprentice system as a means of reducing youth unemployment and developing the economy; the targets set out regarding the feasibility of offering apprenticeships to each unemployed person; if he will introduce a more innovative, modern and enlarged system of apprenticeships in addition to the 26 listed trades and crafts; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35658/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The Government's 2012 Action Plan for Jobs contained a commitment to "initiate a review of the Apprenticeship training model, including costs, duration and demand with a view to providing an updated model of training that delivers the necessary skilled workforce to service the needs of a rapidly changing economy and ensures appropriate balance between supply and demand." This review was undertaken in two phases, the first of which was the preparation of a background issues paper, which is available on my Department's website, The second phase of the review is currently under way. This stage of the review is being managed by an Apprenticeship Review Group comprised of persons with relevant experience and interest in apprenticeship. A public consultation process has recently been announced which is seeking submissions with regard to the apprenticeship system. The consultative phase of the Review will address three key themes: Consideration of the strengths and weaknesses of the current model of Apprenticeship and what improvements can be made to its current structure, an examination of the alternative methods of work-based training in Ireland and consideration of the structural mechanisms, and criteria, under which collaboration with industry/employers can be pursued into the future, either through improved, alternative or complementary models of work-based training. Following the consultation process, the Review Group will recommend options recognising the broad spectrum of vocational training available, for the development of the apprentice formation system, and other work based education/training systems.