Ministers Harris and Collins mark important milestone as number of female apprentices surpasses 1,000

Minister for Further and Higher Education  Simon Harris TD and Minister for Skills and Further Education Niall Collins TD have today marked an important milestone as the number of women apprentices surpasses 1,000.

The news was confirmed by SOLAS as Zoe Fitzgerald started an two-year, Accounting Technician Apprenticeship with Cork County Council.

Speaking today Minister Harris said: “Five years ago, there were as few as 26 female apprentices. Now we have over 1,000 female apprentices registered across the system.

“This is an important milestone for celebration. There is still much to be done and one of my key goals as Minister is to improve the number of people in apprenticeship,  increase diversity and improve the gender balance.”

Minister Collins added: “This is an important achievement. We are currently finalising our Action Plan on Apprenticeships, which will outline our ambition in this area.

“The Programme for Government commits to increasing the number of new apprentice registrations to 10,000 every year and we must do more to increase diversity in this area.”

The number of apprenticeships has expanded greatly in recent years with almost 60 different programmes now available across a range of sectors including Electrical, Finance, ICT, BioPharma, Recruitment and Property Services.

In July 2020, Minister Harris  launched a €3,000 financial incentive for employers to take on apprentices which is available to all employers who take on apprentices on all national apprenticeship programmes. 1,358 employers have availed of the Scheme.

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