Young people will get genuine opportunities to build secure lives
Ireland currently has 27 apprenticeships. All of these are in traditional areas, largely construction-based, but including printing, aircraft maintenance and mechanics.
These apprenticeships are of a very high quality - over the years we've had a lot of success in World Skills competitions. And these apprenticeships provide great opportunities - this year alone, more than 3,000 young people are expected to begin apprenticeships in these areas. That's an increase of more than 100pc compared with the number of new apprentices in 2012.
New research from the further education and training agency, Solas, has indicated that the numbers in existing apprenticeships will grow each year, reaching 5,000 new apprenticeships by 2018. That's 5,000 young people who will be presented with a real opportunity each year, and a chance to develop the skills and experience they need to build stable and secure lives for themselves and their families.