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Regional Action Plan for Education Forum

Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Education Minister Richard Bruton today hosted the latest in a series of regional meetings on the Action Plan for Education in the Mayo Campus of Galway Mayo Institute of Technology in Castlebar.  

The purpose of this series of meetings is to outline the Government's Action Plan for Education and to detail the steps the Government are taking to make Ireland the best education and training system in Europe by 2026.

Minister Bruton has set out the government’s plan to deliver 50,000 Apprenticeship and Traineeship Places by 2020, as part of the Action Plan on Education launched in September. 

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said:

The focus of this discussion on apprenticeships and traineeships is very apt as the economy continues to improve and with unemployment now under 7%.  Work-based apprenticeships and training programmes have played a vital role in meeting the education and training needs of Ireland for a number of decades at this stage.

Since the 1970s, it is estimated that over 100,000 apprentices have been trained.  An additional 30,000 people have also been trained through traineeships over the last 20 years.  Ireland has been well served by a very high standard of apprenticeship training and education that has contributed greatly to the skills of our workforce.  Employer buy-in is critical and it is essential that employment leaders continue to build on new and existing relationships within the enterprise community and that all sectors of the economy embrace the challenge to develop new apprenticeships and traineeships.

Education Minister Richard Bruton said:

One of the greatest causalities of the recession were apprenticeships and traineeships. Enrolment in their career pathway collapsed and fell by over 80%. This closed down an important pathway which is a characteristic element in many of the most successful education systems. We now need to do two things. Firstly, rebuild these traditional pathways; and secondly build new apprenticeships and traineeships in areas where they haven’t traditionally existed. We need to rebuild these options into a new robust pathway which will become an attractive and respected option for at least 20% of our school leavers. This would see the present apprenticeship and traineeship system expand significantly, covering all major economic sectors, and doubling enrolments to 14,000.