Concern at lack of apprenticeship programmes

A DONEGAL councillor has highlighted the lack of apprenticeship courses for certain aspects of the construction industry and says that with the demand for new housing growing all the time, it’s an issue that needs immediate addressing.

Cllr. Ciaran Brogan said he was surprised to discover that there are no apprentice programmes available in Donegal for block-layers or plasterers.

And he has urged the relevant bodies to engage with the Construction Industry Federation to get new courses up and running.


The Fianna Fáil councillor, as chairman of Donegal County Council’s Special Policy Committee on Economic Development Enterprise and Emergency, recently raised the area of apprenticeships with Donegal ETB and Solas, the state agency which oversees the Further Education and Training (FET) sector.

Cllr. Brogan said he then met with Vinny McGroary, Area Training Manager with Donegal ETB.

“Vinny outlined the great work that they have been doing over the last number of years in the whole area of welding, electronic security, carpentry, motor mechanics, electrical and plumbing, and some of the work they are doing on the whole fibre optic broadband cable as well,” Cllr. Brogan said.

“I have to commend them for the great work they are doing and as an SPC we want to create awareness of the good work that is happening.

“We have a close working relationship as a council with the ETB, Solas, and indeed all the agencies.”

However, Cllr. Brogan said one area that needs addressing as a matter of urgency, is that of construction.

“It’s unfortunate that at the moment in Donegal we don’t have the block laying or plastering apprenticeships taking place and that’s a huge concern,” he said.
“In light of this and the big demand for housing that exists, I think we need to be engaging with the Construction Industry Federation and indeed with some of the employers out there to look at how we can try and create a situation whereby we can get new apprenticeship courses up and running.


“The one thing that is very evident is that this has to be driven by the employers and we need to look at that. In fairness, the ETB did commit that if there was an appetite for it that they would be happy to work with it to make it happen.”

Cllr. Brogan added: “We do have the defective concrete blocks scheme up and going now but there’s no doubt there is a huge shortage of block layers and plasterers out there.

“We need to see what we can do to try and get this going again.

“I can’t praise the ETB enough for all the great work they are doing and it was to highlight that work that I invited them to our recent meeting.

“They have been very innovative in so many ways and I want to acknowledge that and how they are attracting apprentices from all over the country.”

Receive quality journalism wherever you are, on any device. Keep up to date from the comfort of your own home with a digital subscription.
Any time | Any place | Anywhere

and get access to our archive editions dating back to 2007
Every Thursday
Every Monday

Donegal News is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. St. Anne's Court, Letterkenny, County Donegal, Ireland