A Chronic Shortage Of Apprentices is driving a surge in costs and delaying vital building projects.
That is the view of training centre manager Dave Tracey, who has stressed there are huge rewards for students and has urged teachers and parents to do a re-think.
An alarming survey revealed only 30 people registered for apprenticeships in 2017 as plasterers compared to 300 who signed up as trainees 13 years ago.
Meanwhile, 45 people signed up as apprentice painters which was a 72% drop since 2006 and bricklayers slumped from 679 to 65.
Mr Tracey, a carpentry and joinery training manager at Sisk, said after the demise of the Celtic Tiger “employers stopped taking on apprentices, obviously there was no work so there was no future”.