Waterford TD Mary Butler calls for apprenticeship schemes to be made more accessible and appealing to women
A report into the Role of Apprenticeships and Work Permits in Addressing Ireland’s Skills Needs, which was compiled by the Oireachtas Committee on Business, Enterprise and Innovation, has revealed that just 2% of apprenticeships in Ireland are taken women.
Commenting following the report’s launch, committee chair and Fianna Fáil TD in Waterford Mary Butler TD said the findings detailed in this report give us an insight into what must be done to bring Ireland up to standard with other European countries in terms of our apprenticeship offering.
“The fact that only 332 of the 14,953 apprentices across the country are women shows us that there is still some distance to go in making apprenticeship schemes more accessible and appealing to all genders and all walks of life," she said.
“This lack of diversity is a concern and especially since we haven’t even seen a slight improvement despite being aware of the issue. Fianna Fáil recently published a policy document to address the imbalance and improve other aspects of State apprenticeship schemes.
“Broadening out the involvement of public organisations and technology companies to offer a greater variety of skills and opportunities could encourage more women to engage with the apprenticeship model. For instance, emphasising the worth and accessibility of these schemes for women could also be achieved through an online information campaign."
Deputy Butler said women continue to struggle to break into male-dominated industries and sectors in Ireland. "I don’t think anyone can deny that we must persevere to make inroads and better support females to get involved.
“One thing is certain from the report - the approach that has been taken up to this point has clearly not made a meaningful or positive impact and needs to change.”