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The CIF Western and Midland branches call on member companies to work collaboratively in training new apprentices, particularly in the wet trades, through the Share Apprenticeship Scheme.
In order to help more young people from the west of Ireland to take up an apprenticeship in the wet trades, the Western and Midland Region representatives are asking members to consider creating co-ops whereby a number of construction companies choose to work collaboratively to provide training for new apprentices.
The Shared Apprenticeship Scheme differs from the traditional model in two ways. Firstly, it allows direct employers and co-op members, who may not be specialists in the appointed trade but employ skilled subcontractors, to arrange for the training required under the guidance of the co-op. And secondly, co-op members will be able to move apprentices between their companies to ensure continuity of engagement and training, should one area, or particular project, become more or less busy than another.
John O’Shaughnessy, MD, Clancy, and Chair of the CIF Manpower, Education & Training sub-Committee, says that they are seeking the support of construction companies throughout the western region and across Ireland for the Shared Apprenticeship Scheme. “This is an industry effort to grow the numbers of apprentices registering to the wet trades, which are sadly lagging at this time. In 2015 / 2016 my company was part of a pilot of this sharing initiative, and we deemed it to be a success,” he says. “Now, SOLAS has agreed to extend the initiative, and I am calling on members to form consortia of three to four companies and start registering apprentices under the scheme. This is a great opportunity for the industry to seek to address the low numbers in the wet trades.”
Justin Molloy, Regional Director, CIF Western & Midland Region says that construction activity continues to increase in the region with many major projects having commenced onsite, or due to commence shortly. “The output of the sector has increased substantially in 2019 and we need more young people to consider a career in construction. Apprenticeships in the wet trades, such as bricklaying, plastering or painting, are all struggling to attract sufficient numbers of young people. Construction apprenticeships today offer young people excellent career opportunities to work in Ireland or overseas.”
Dermot Carey, Director Safety & Training, CIF says Ireland faces the challenge of generating the 112,000 additional employees required up to 2020 to deliver the targets set out in both the housing strategy and the public capital programme. “There is an urgent need for Government and industry to collaborate in attracting more people into the industry and to invest in construction skills training. The alternative is that we will fail to meet these targets, our housing crisis will continue, and our infrastructural deficit will stall economic progress. This is a huge threat to Ireland and to the long-term capacity of the Irish construction industry.”
If your firm would be interested in participating in the Shared Apprenticeship Scheme, please contact Dermot Carey on [email protected]