Dáil Éireann - Volume 661 - 24 September, 2008
Written Answers. - FÁS Training Programmes.
Deputy Olwyn Enright Deputy Olwyn Enright
Deputy Olwyn Enright asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the steps that she and FÁS have taken to ensure that apprentices who are made redundant can complete their remaining phases and achieve a craft certificate; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [30889/08]
Deputy Mary Coughlan Deputy Mary Coughlan
Deputy Mary Coughlan: Given the significant reduction in construction related activity and the subsequent increase in the numbers of construction workers who have been made redundant, I am very conscious of the need to try and accommodate apprentices in the completion of their apprenticeships.
To achieve this, both my Department and FÁS have been actively examining this issue and have put in place a series of actions to facilitate redundant apprentices in completing their studies. These include the following:
Through their Employment Services Division, FÁS are focusing on assisting redundant apprentices to source employment, in order that they can complete their apprenticeship by receiving the appropriate on-the-job training and undertaking the associated competence-based assessments.
As an interim measure, FÁS now allows apprentices who are made redundant to progress to their next off-the-job training phase of their apprenticeship, without having to do the next on-the-job phase first.
FÁS have put into place a register of Redundant Apprentices by Trade in order to identify these people at the earliest possible point in time and FÁS have prioritised the need to locate an employer to sponsor the completion of the Apprentices “off-the-job” training.
FÁS will not allow employers who make an apprentice redundant to subsequently recruit another apprentice in the same trade before the apprenticeship period of the redundant apprentice has expired.
FÁS has met with the Construction Industry Federation (CIF) to discuss the impact of the slowdown in the Construction Industry on the Apprenticeship Programme. The CIF agreed to consult with members and to report back to FÁS with their views and proposals.
 FÁS have opened discussions with relevant bodies and authorities regarding the accreditation of on-the-job work experience and competency based assessments where the apprentice has obtained employment abroad.
FÁS will explore the feasibility of creating new apprenticeships in those highly skilled occupations, which have become extensively required in the Construction Industry (e.g. glazing, insulation).
My Department and FÁS will continue to monitor the trends and activities in the industry and will work with all of the relevant stakeholders to ensure timely and satisfactory responses to assist redundant apprentices to complete their apprenticeships.
Dáil Éireann 661 Written Answers. FÁS Training Programmes.