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Trade union unanimously votes to launch campaign to get more women involved in apprenticeships

It said more must be done to get women into the trade.

Image: Shutterstock/Pressmaster

DELEGATES ATTENDING THE first ever Connect Trade Union conference unanimously voted to launch a campaign seeking to increase the number of women taking up apprenticeships in the trades.

The Connect Trade Union was established in January this year. It is the largest organisation for craft workers in the country, including in its membership those employed in the skilled technical, engineering, electrical and construction sectors.

Union member and Kilkenny County Council employee, Aisling Stone, said it is crucial to get women involved in the trades. 

She said: “The motion calls upon the union to work with like-minded organisations to promote and campaign for a greater uptake of apprenticeships by women. The union will also work to promote working within the trades as a realistic and sustainable career path for women.

“I am a painter and decorator. I was the last apprentice taken on by Kilkenny County Council and that was 25 years ago. It is crucial that local authorities once again start taking on apprentices as many of their employees qualified in the trades are now retiring.

It is equally important that women are encouraged to take up these apprenticeships. When I began my apprenticeship there were women apprentices in various trades around the country, from sheet-metal working to carpentry, we need to return to a similar situation.

Connect Trade Union Assistant General Secretary, Brian Nolan, said: “Apprenticeships are fundamental to the future of the trades in Ireland. Connect Trade Union is working with the Government and other stakeholders to establish and develop apprenticeships. These cannot just be a way to employ people to do work on lesser terms and conditions but must be a clear path to developing skill sets which are essential to their chosen trades.”

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