Women make up less than 5pc of apprentices in Ireland, with just 400 females training in schemes out of 15,500, according to new figures obtained by the Sunday Independent.Irish Independant

This reveals a dramatic contrast with the situation in the UK where around half of all apprentices are female.

Snobbery in Ireland may be partly to blame. Also, the limited range of occupations in Ireland that allow entry through apprenticeships is a major cause of the huge disparity of training opportunities between Ireland and Britain.

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