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12 months on from Govt commitment to improving apprentice pay - silence from Govt

03 May 2024

  • No sign of the promised amendments to apprentice pay in the Construction Safety Licensing Bill. Stalled in the Dáil since June 27th last year.
  • No sign of Government commissioned research into apprentice pay.
  • All the while, construction apprentices are expected to earn €7.16 per hour in year 1 and €10.75 in year 2. Issue of apprentice recruitment and retention remains. 

Labour Spokesperson for Workers’ Rights, Marie Sherlock has urged Government to stop sitting on its hands on the apprentice wage issue.

Senator Sherlock said:

“Last May, Labour Senators introduced legislation to ensure apprentices are paid the National Minimum Wage. Then Minister for Further and Higher Education and the current Taoiseach acknowledged that wages should not be a barrier to apprentice participation, and we saw a series of briefings from Government that he would bring forward amendments to the Construction Safety Licensing Bill.

"12 months on, we haven’t seen any sign of the research commissioned by the Department of Further Education and Skills and no sign of the promised amendments.

“If Government are serious about dramatically increasing construction employment and ensuring a steady flow of apprentices into the sector, then Government must look at apprentice pay.

“We understand that 3,400 craft apprentices have failed to complete their apprenticeship over the past three years due to drop-outs or pauses and that there is no real understanding of why this is happening.

"We have apprentices telling us that pay is a significant issue particularly in year one and year two and that the pay rates fails to recognise it is no just people fresh out of school who are taking up apprenticeships.

“Government needs to make good its promises and address the apprentice pay issue.”