18 Aug 2022

Kilkenny councillor calls for new apprenticeship programme due to lack of tradespeople

Kilkenny councillor calls for new apprenticeship programme due to lack of tradespeople

Cllr Eugene McGuinness

Councillor Eugene McGuinness has called for the local authority to put in place an apprenticeship programme to ensure there is enough tradespeople in place to fulfil the future repair and maintenance requirements of the Council.

The Kilkenny City Municipal District councillor tabled the motion at last week's full meeting of Kilkenny County Council.

"We live in a craft city and have a long tradition in the field," he said, 'but we have not replaced tradesmen that have left'.

Cllr McGuinness also cited current difficulty finding private operators and the ongoing need for a dedicated workforce to call upon 'not just for the repair and maintenance of council tenancies but for all public buildings in Kilkenny'.

"We should have an apprenticeship programme in place to address this. I've been talking about it long and hard. We need a core workforce," he added.

Kilkenny County Council Director of Services, Tim Butler, stated that the local authority 'will look at [their] own workforce plan and will cater for [their] own staffing needs'.

"We will also engage in any government programme looking to increase apprenticeship programmes."

Kilkenny County Council Acting Chief Executive, Sean McKeown, stated that Kilkenny County Council is currently supporting Kilkenny and Carlow Education and Training Board (KCETB) acquire training facilities.

Cllr Mary Hilda Cavanagh, in her contribution to the discussion, called upon anybody interested in pursuing an apprenticeship to contact KCETB.

"We do have a drastic shortage of tradespeople," she said.

"Many left for Australia and found that the weather was good and the wages were good and they stayed."

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