Sinn Féin spokesperson on Further and Higher Education, Rose Conway-Walsh TD, has invited apprentices to share their story as part of the party’s survey of how the cost of living crisis is hitting apprentices.
The survey, which was launched today by Teachta Conway-Walsh, calls on apprentices to share their experiences and make their voice heard.
Speaking today, Teachta Conway-Walsh said:
“Today Sinn Féin are launching this survey to hear about apprentices’ experiences of the cost of living crisis.
“We know that many apprentices are coming under major financial pressure as the cost of living rises. From petrol, to rent, groceries to energy bills, costs are shooting up while apprentices’ wages and allowances are staying the same.
“Many feel concerned that without more support, they may have to drop out of their apprenticeship. It is vital that talented people don’t feel forced out of their training in this way. Apprentices perform a vital role in our economy and bring important skills to the workforce.
“2021 saw only 1,798 apprentices become fully-qualified tradespeople. That is close to 600 fewer than in 2020, and represents the lowest number of newly-qualified tradespeople since 2017. This is an alarming development when many of these skill are vital to delivering targets such as on housing and retrofit. There are a number of factors driving this but costs and financial pressure is making a bad situation worse.
“The government cannot ignore their needs and the pressures apprentices are under.
“We want to tell the real story of how high costs are impacting apprentices. Take part in our survey to make your voice heard. Sinn Féin will stand up for apprentices and ensure they get a break from high costs.”