asked the Minister for Labour the number of registered apprentices at present unemployed; and the steps his Department are taking to secure employment for them.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Registered Apprentices.
On the basis of surveys carried out by AnCO it is estimated that about 900 apprentices, mainly in the construction and motor trades, are at present unemployed. AnCO endeavour to place redundant or unemployed apprentices with other employers or temporarily in their own training centres as far as possible. In addition these apprentices are encouraged to register with the National Manpower Service. Placement committees, on which AnCO and the NMS are represented, have also been set up to co-ordinate the placement of the apprentices, including those temporarily placed in AnCO centres.
A total of 270 unemployed or redundant apprentices have received training to date in 1975 with AnCO and 81 are at present accommodated in training centres.
Did the Minister not express any concern about the serious situation that is arising with 900 craft apprentices idle and few opportunities for the 1975 apprentices? The indications are that there will be no opportunities for the 1976 apprentices and in view of that does the Minister not regard this as one of the most serious problems facing us? What steps does he, or the Minister for Labour, intend to take as a matter of urgency?
I was asked a factual question and I gave a factual answer. I was not asked to offer an opinion as to what was likely to happen. The Minister for Labour should be asked that question when he returns.
Is the Minister not aware of the situation he sees looming ahead?
The remaining questions will appear on the Order Paper for next sitting day.