People ‘will win by learning’ in new transport operator apprenticeships – Harris

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A new apprenticeship program for future transport operators and commercial drivers has been launched.

The Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris, and the Minister of State at the Ministry of Transport for International and Road Transport and Logistics, Hildegarde Naughton, announced the news of the program today (Thursday, May 26).

The two-year program – supported by stakeholders such as the Atlantic Technological University and Insurance Ireland – will offer the opportunity to obtain a higher education qualification as well as a professional driving qualification.

Minister Harris says industry and education working together to address skills shortages in Ireland is “what we need”.

He said: “Under this program, apprentices are employed by a company for the duration of the two-year program and will earn money as they learn. But on top of that, the Apprentices will attend conferences at ATU Sligo. This is good news for our economy, good news for business and good news for education.”

Minister Naughton said: “This new learning is an excellent example of positive collaboration between industry, education and government to address the challenges currently facing the road freight sector. The professionalization of the industry and the creation of clear career paths will attract new candidates to consider a career in freight and logistics.

“The ongoing crisis in Ukraine, on top of Brexit and Covid-19, reminds us of the importance of a fully operational supply chain and the crucial role that those working in logistics and logistics play every day. transport, including drivers, to bring essential supplies in and around the country.

“Their work underpins our key infrastructure, supports Irish business and industry and enables economic and social activity to continue for the benefit of all citizens and society as a whole.

“In particular, I hope that learning about trades in transport and commercial driving will serve as a springboard for workforce diversification in the freight sector and attract more women to the industry.”

Only 2% of people in Ireland with commercial vehicle licenses are women, with the launch hoping to attract a new generation of women to the industry.

Director of the National Apprenticeship Office, Mary-Liz Trant, said: “We are delighted to see a new National Apprenticeship now on offer for the freight sector and wish the Freight Transport Association of Ireland, all its members and all the best. the training provider at Atlantic Technological University, Sligo as they gain first admission to the ongoing programme.

“The announcement of these exciting new apprenticeships, along with the recent launch of the Apprentice Employer Scholarships and Grants, really shows that the pace of change in the sector is accelerating.

FTA Ireland Managing Director Aidan Flynn also commented and said: “Road transport is critical to the continued success of the Irish supply chain as it accounts for almost 99% of inland freight movements across the country.

“Yet pressures on talent to join other careers are putting increasing pressure on recruitment for the sector, which now struggles to recruit a diverse workforce and has therefore suffered from long-running skills shortages. date.

“Apprenticeship is a proven way for new hires to join an industry while continuing to learn during their on-the-job training, and we are confident that this new apprenticeship – the 65th launched nationally – will attract new employees in our dynamic industry and will ensure that they can take up one of the many jobs currently available once qualified.”

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