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06 Jul 2022

Ireland needs to ditch 'snobby' third level attitude to fill trade roles for house building

Ireland needs to ditch 'snobby' third level attitude to fill trade roles for house building

There needs to be a switch away from a "snobby" attitude towards third level education if Ireland is to find the 34,000 skilled trade workers to achieve the Government’s 2030 housing plans, according to Minister Simon Harris.

It is estimated that around 51,000 trades workers will be needed by 2030 to construct the 300,000 new homes the Government plans to build by 2030.

This will require approximately 34,000 newly acquired, skilled workers.

Higher and Further Education Minister Simon Harris said this will require a complete cultural change in how Ireland views trades. He said we need to abolish the “snobby” attitude towards third level education.

“By 2030 we need to have an additional 34,000 people trained in what are traditionally called the trades. How are we going to get there? Firstly, by changing the CAO process.

“For the first time this year, when students log onto their CAO application, they will see traditional CAO options, further education options and now they’ll see apprenticeships. That’s the beginning of the cultural change that will happen,” Mr Harris told Newstalk in recent days.

“It’s too snobby a system, too elitist a system and too narrow a system. You meet kids and the first question they’re nearly asked is what university they want to go to rather than what they want to do with the rest of their lives.

“I want everyone in Ireland to be able to access third level education but also tell them there are different but equal ways of accessing it,” he said.

Since Minister Harris's comments, details of a new apprenticeship for bar people has also  been announced. 

This is the first ever apprenticeship degree to train a new generation of bar managers, launched to tackle Ireland’s crippling shortage of hospitality staff.

The three-year degree course, backed by State and employer funding, was officially unveiled in Limerick.

The Vintners’ Federation of Ireland (VFI) and Griffith College, with the support of Solas, the state agency for further education, have joined forces to reverse the pub sector’s post-Covid struggle to retain staff.

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