Deputy Kelly: Apprentices deserve to be paid a living wage.

Apprenticeships key to unlocking housing crisis

Labour’s Alan Kelly TD has called on the Government to dramatically scale up the number of apprenticeships in order to address the housing crisis, and ensure they are paid a fair wage.

He said: “Amidst the housing crisis, apprenticeships emerge as a crucial pathway not only to bridge the gap in skilled labour but also to expedite much-needed housing solutions for our community. Government must act swiftly to scale up apprenticeships. We must ensure fair pay for apprentices, recognising their invaluable contributions to our society.

“Apprentices deserve to be paid a living wage. No working person should be paid less than minimum wage. Yet our apprentices, those learning the vital crafts and trades that help build homes and keep the roofs over our heads, are currently paid less than minimum wage in the first two years of their apprenticeship. This is simply not good enough.

“Knocking on doors in Nenagh, the urgency for housing solutions is palpable. We need a greater sense of urgency from Government. Apprenticeships are key to unlocking housing crisis solutions by providing a pipeline of skilled workers for the construction industry. However, it is important that apprentices are paid fairly for their work. Government must do more to support apprentices and ensure that they are not exploited.

“Government has been dragging its feet on apprenticeships and construction skills training for too long. It is time to take action and invest in the skills and training that our country needs to thrive.”