Speaking on the Adjournment Debate in the Seanad, Fine Gael Cork Senator, Jerry Buttimer, welcomed the announcement by the ESB of a programme which will enable redundant electrical apprentices to complete their training. Senator Buttimer called on the Government, however, to assist the thousands more who have lost their apprentice positions and are unable to conclude their placements.
“There are in excess of 3,600 redundant apprentices in the State today, many of whom are in Cork and this figure has increased steadily over the last 12 months in tandem with the rising tide of unemployment. For the 400 redundant electrical engineers who have been given a second chance to complete their training, this news will come as a welcome reprieve. For the thousands more who have not been granted this stay of execution, the future will undoubtedly appear daunting and bleak.
“What plan has the Government in place to assist those who are not unable to continue with their placements? Has any provision been made to ensure that qualification completion is an option for all? A clear strategy, outlining the available options, will go some way to providing a brighter outlook for the future.
“I very much welcome this announcement by the ESB to facilitate training for 400 redundant electrical apprentices as it will afford those unable to complete their training a valuable opportunity to do so and allow on-the-job training to be carried out.
“Having questioned the Minister on the matter, it is evident that no clear Government initiative is in place to help the 1,700 apprentices who will not be permitted to conclude their training.”