February 20, 2021
Government’s dilly-dallying causing young people to miss out on apprenticeship opportunities – Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Education Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD has expressed his concern at the Minister for Education’s delay in organising State certification to be sent to young people who left school after the Junior Cert last year; with many being denied access to apprenticeships as a result.

He has urged the Minister to act immediately to ensure that young people do not miss out.

Teachta Ó Laoghaire said:

“Young people who took the decision to leave school after their Junior Cert in 2020 were told by the Minister for Education that they would receive State certification of completion of their Junior Cert from her Department. Nearly a year on, they are still waiting.

“For many of these young people – because they have not received this certificate – they have been denied access to apprenticeship opportunities and training with Solas and are being disadvantaged in taking up apprenticeships through no fault of their own; but through the dilly-dallying of the Department in printing out certificates and sending them to those who need them.

“When I wrote to the Minister asking her to intervene to resolve this issue, her response was that this was the responsibility of the State Exams Commission. When I subsequently wrote to the State Exams Commission, they replied to say the responsibility for this fell squarely on the Minister.

“Clearly, a mess has been made of this. The Minister is trying to pass the blame off on anyone but herself and young people pursuing apprenticeships are suffering as a result.

“The Minister must take responsibility and urgently provide these young people with their certification so that they can move on with their lives and their careers.”

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