Dáil Éireann - Volume 281 - 29 May, 1975

Ceiseanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Trade Apprenticeships.

29. Mr. Walsh asked the Minister for Labour if he will make a statement on the number of apprenticeships to the different trades that will be available in the country this year.

Minister for Local Government (Mr. Tully) (for the Minister for Labour): As recruitment of apprentices is, in the main, a matter for decision by individual employers, it is not possible, at this stage, to indicate the number of apprenticeships which will be available this year.

However, AnCO are keeping in close touch with the situation and if there is any undue drop in apprentice recruitment, they will endeavour to have the situation remedied. As the Deputy is no doubt aware, AnCO themselves recruit and give off-the-job training in their training centres to a considerable number of first-year apprentices.

The regulation of apprentice intake in the future is dealt with in the AnCO proposals for reform of apprenticeship on which decisions will be announced in the near future.

[1287] Mr. G. Fitzgerald: Could the Minister state if AnCO can give any indication whether the intake of apprentices will be in line with former years, whether there will be more or fewer than in former years?

Mr. Tully: I have no definite information, but the figure would appear to be somewhat down. That is not extraordinary since there is an amount of unemployment.

Mr. G. Fitzgerald: I accept the difficulties the Minister for Local Government is placed in when he is replying for his colleague, but would he like to comment on how much the figure will be down?

Mr. Tully: I have not got definite figures but it would appear as if it will not be down very much. AnCO themselves recruit off-the-job trainees and this will possibly have an effect on the number. The average number varies between 2,500 and 3,500 and it is estimated that 3,000 would be sufficient to meet requirements. I cannot judge what will happen later.

30. Mr. Walsh asked the Minister for Labour if, under EEC regulations, apprenticeships can be secured in other countries for young people who desire them and who at present are unable to secure them in this country.

Mr. Tully: Under the EEC regulation governing the free movement of workers within the community, any national of a member state has the right to seek and to take up employment in another member state. This would include young persons interested in apprenticeships.

The regulation also provides for the consideration once a month of returns showing vacancies in each member state which they have failed to fill and are on offer to nationals of the other member states. It is understood that throughout the Community generally apprenticeship vacancies fall short of the demand and such vacancies have not therefore figured on the circulated lists.

Apart from the general shortage of apprenticeships throughout the Community, [1288] there are practical difficulties —language, educational qualifications, cost of travel and subsistence—facing young people from this country who might seek apprenticeships in other member states.