30 May 2019, 14.27

The Joint Committee on Business, Enterprise and Innovation has today published its ‘Report on the Role of Apprenticeships and Work Permits in Addressing Ireland’s Skills Needs.’

Read the full report here

Some of the main recommendations include:

• that there be a much greater emphasis in the education system on the increased range of apprenticeships available, particularly with regard to young women, people with disabilities, the travelling community and other groups that are underrepresented in apprenticeships
• that it is important that apprenticeships are seen as an equally viable option to third level education for school leavers.
• that the Government examine avenues to reduce the financial burden on employers taking on apprentices, particularly SMEs.

Committee Chair, Mary Butler TD, said, “The Committee decided to examine apprenticeships and work permits in relation to Ireland’s skills needs and to delve into the issues that had arisen when we examined the Cost of Doing Business in Ireland. A strong, practical skill set is vital for the economic health of the country and as we approach full employment, it is important to ensure that we have the systems in place to meet our future skills needs.”

“Apprenticeships have a key role to play in addressing Ireland’s skills needs. The range of apprenticeships has expanded significantly in recent years, and this report highlights the opportunities the apprenticeship system presents not only to help address Ireland’s skills needs, but to increase representation in apprenticeships among groups that are significantly underrepresented in the system. ”

“The Committee has also made a number of recommendations around the work permit system, including that the necessary resources are made available to process work permit applications within the Department’s targeted processing times. While the work permit system is not a long term solution to Ireland’s skills needs, it is important to have a streamlined system that can react to the needs of business and protect those in possession of work permits.”

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