Belfast Telegraph

Cash available to help apprentices

Around 7 million euro has been set aside to put 1,000 redundant apprentices through the final stages of their training, the Government said.

The wage package is one of a series of measures aimed at getting trainees off the dole and into a working environment to try to limit risks from long-term unemployment.

Other schemes include a 20 million-euro fund to get people into part-time higher education courses and 700 new places for redundant apprentices and craft workers into institutes of technology.

Tanaiste and Education Minister Mary Coughlan said: "People with all educational and skills levels have been affected by this recession.

"We are committed to ensuring that an appropriate mix of training and educational responses is in place to support all those who have lost their jobs back into sustainable employment."

Ms Coughlan said spaces on the programmes would be made available for recently unemployed graduates to redundant apprentices and craft workers.

"These are in addition to the usual Fas, further education and higher education places, which my department will continue to provide in 2011," she said.

The 1,000 new places will be created under the Redundant Apprentice Placement scheme and provide salaried, on-the-job training in both the public and private sector.

Under the expanded scheme Fas will pay a standard training wage from 260 euro a week up to 400 euro a week depending on experience.

Elsewhere, the 20 million-euro fund will offer education opportunities from certificate to postgraduate level for unemployed people, while apprentice placement schemes are to be expanded across the public and private sector and thousands more posts created in internships.

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