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.
The Labour Party believe apprentices should have access to the minimum wage. Our construction workers are key to unlocking the housing crisis, yet they are expected to undergo their training without fair pay.
We need to skill up Ireland’s indigenous construction workforce. Fair pay for fair work is crucial to this. Hope is not a strategy for this year, we need to address the problems with apprenticeship take up and apprenticeship completion.
Research on apprenticeships in Germany and Australia highlight the high correlation between poor completion rates and low rate of pay.
In the midst of this housing nightmare in Ireland, Government needs to reflect on that. Investing in our apprentices is vital to unlocking the long-term and sustainable solution to the labour shortages that are causing delays in delivering homes.