The report, entitled "Trades and Apprenticeships Skills Survey - The Employers Perspective", investigated the uptake in apprenticeships and found that 71% of member firms are currently not engaged in apprentice training, and 63% of existing trades employers do not employ apprentices.
The report was undertaken by Dublin Institute of Technology researchers for the CIF. Lead researcher Eoghan ó Murchadha said on the findings, "A skills loss is a potential crisis waiting to happen. If it does happen, trades’ rates will rise and cause tender prices to rise, and construction clients will take the financial burden. Quality will also suffer!”
Asked what the main reasons are that the contractors surveyed didn’t employ apprentices, Eoghan said: “There were many reasons but it came back to the financial cost. Over 90% of firms are micro firms and these organisations do not have the resources to pay the cost and give the time to supervision and to certify sign-off on the training. For Phase 2, an apprentice goes to a SOLAS Training Centre for training, and small firms can’t afford to support an apprentice through this.”
Dermot Carey, who leads the CIF’s Safety & Training Department, also commented.
“The reason for commissioning this survey was because there was a lot of anecdotal information about the recovery of apprenticeship registrations,” Dermot tells us. “We knew that mechanical and electrical apprenticeships were recovering but the wet trades were doing poorly. However, there was no rigorous research being done into why they were doing so poorly.”
"One solution is to look at how ‘off the job’ phases can be delivered to suit the employer more, maybe ‘week on, week off’. A relaxing of the regulations around the assessor is also required whereby the visiting assessor comes from an external organisation, instead of the employer having to have a certified person within the business. We also need to look at the supply-side and promote apprenticeship in a positive manner. The industry must provide sustainable careers to attract young people to the trades.”
Read the full story at irishbuildingmagazine.ie
To read more about the Construction sector, view our sector page.
To search apprenticeships, see our dedicated Apprenticeship page.
The CareersPortal Team