The government needs to immediately deal with the “elephant in the room” when it’s talking about apprentices and the extension the Apprenticeship Incentivisation Scheme. That’s the clear view of Mayo Sinn Fein deputy Rose Conway Walsh.

The reality is that there are more than 9,000 apprentices at present who are being denied access to their off-job training / college places. Since the start of the pandemic, apprentices at various stages of their courses, have been unable to access this vital part of their training. As a result, they are losing out on their subsequent increments in salary.

On yesterday’s Morning Edition programme here on Midwest News, Mayo Fine Gael Deputy Alan Dillon announced the extension of the Incentivisation Scheme to employers taking on apprentices, where the employer can secure 3000 euro for each new apprentice registered.

However, when deputy Dillon was asked a direct question by Midwest News as to what is happening to the thousands of apprentices at present stuck in a quandary, he failed to address the question, the Sinn Fein deputy claims.

Nonetheless, she welcomes the extension, out to the end of the year, of the Apprentice Incentivasation Scheme.

This lunchtime Midwest News asked deputy Rose Conway Walsh, the Sinn Fein Spokesperson on Higher and Further Education, if the problem for so many apprentices left without their off-job training has been resolved…