Cost of is a major obstacle to the creation of new apprenticeship positions, according to the employers’ organisation, Ibec.IBECibec

As many as 17 new types of apprenticeships have been created in non-traditional areas such as financial services, hospitality and insurance.

Many more new offerings are in the pipeline but there is growing concern about the poor uptake of the new ‘earn and learn’ options in some sectors.

This has happened even though the new apprenticeships have generally been devised by industry consortia to address skills needs in companies.

Ibec’s Tony Donohoe told the Oireachtas Education Committee that small and medium-sized enterprises, in particular, had an issue with cost.

Apprenticeships are a blend of work and off the job study and he said there was strong evidence that the cost of paying a salary and subsistence, while the apprentice was off the job, had become a major disincentive.

Mr Donohoe said the traditional craft apprenticeships were supported through subsides from the National Training Fund, and he said that practice should be extended to new generation of apprenticeships.

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