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Apprenticeship system in crisis, Dáil hears

The apprenticeship system is in crisis and that there is a backlog of 9000 people waiting to qualify in trades, Sinn Féin has told the Dáil.

Donegal TD Pearse Doherty said the Government was taking its eye off the ball and it is now taking far longer to get qualified.

He also said apprentices were earning far less than they should be.

In response, Tánaiste Micheál Martin said Ireland’s construction output was the highest across the European Union and those figures would not be possible without many apprenticeships.

He said there had been unrelenting focus on reducing waiting time for apprenticeships and very significant progress had been made.

A taskforce has been set up and has been implementing a plan.

However, he said the Covid-19 pandemic had created backlogs.

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