KT

Belief that third level is the be all and end all

More will have to be done to retain the tradespeople and encourage more into those careers

THERE has been a call for a more proactive approach to promoting apprenticeships in the traditional trades so that young people are encouraged to take up more posts as the country prepares to open up post Covid.

Kerry TD Michael Healy-Rae made the comments after the government announced €20 million in capital funding to expand apprenticeships across the country, including electricians, plumbers, blocklayers and pipefitting.

He said more will have to be done to retain the tradespeople and encourage more into those careers.

Michael Healy-Rae: More proactive approach required

“I feel that there is almost a snobbery around some parents not wanting their sons or daughters to go into trades because they feel third level college is the be all and end all for them,” Deputy Healy-Rae said.

“All forms of education are equally important and it is important that there is not a message sent out that by opting for a trade you are somewhat lesser important to society,” he added.

The Kerry TD warned that Ireland could see the fall in construction apprenticeships threatening any economic recovery especially following a year-on-year decline in construction apprenticeships in the UK.

Deputy Healy-Rae predicted that many trades people in Ireland could be head-hunted by UK firms, leaving the Irish construction struggling for workers.