Waterford Minister of State John Halligan has acknowledged that there’s a gender imbalance within apprenticeships.
The Independent Alliance TD was speaking during a Fianna Fail motion to modernise the apprenticeship system.
Fianna Fail’s Mary Butler told the Dail that “a special emphasis is required to promote female participation in apprenticeships with women representing only 2% of the apprentice population. Although progress has been made in recent years with a bursary in place for employers who recruit women apprentices more needs to be done to support groups that are vastly under-represented. In the UK for example, 54% of apprenticeship starts in 201/–17 were women compared with 2% here.”
Minister Halligan says they’re dealing with it as best they can: “We have a difficulty with a low take-up by female apprentices and are dealing with the reasons for this as best we can with all of the relevant agencies.”
“I will give the House some statistics in that regard. In 2015 we had 16 female participants; in 2016 we had 60; in 2017, 145 and this year, 323. The figure is small, but it is growing substantially. I think we will be able to deal with the issue.”