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THE FUTURE IS FEMALE: Young Women in Apprenticeships

Posted: 12 March, 2019

On Tuesday, Minister for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, T.D attended an event hosted by TU Dublin aimed at encouraging more young women to consider a career in a craft trade.

Minister for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, T.D with students from St Joseph's College Lucan

Exhibitors at Young Women in Apprenticeships included Solas, the Regional Skills Network and employers such as ESB, Jones Engineering, John Sisk & Son and Dublin City Council who are all eager to take on more women as apprentices. TU Dublin staff were also on hand to discuss the trailblazing pre-apprentice training programme- Access to Apprenticeship. The scheme runs for 12-weeks during which young women can find out for themselves what is involved in training in a range of industries such as the construction, electrical, plumbing and aviation sectors.

In welcoming Minister Mitchell-O’Connor, the exhibitors and second-level students present, Professor David FitzPatrick, President of TU Dublin encouraged all the young men and women in attendance to get the most out of the day as possible and to ask plenty of questions about apprenticeships.

In her address, Minister Mitchell O’Connor said the opportunity to learn lifelong skills while you earn is a key benefit of apprenticeships, and she hoped that more young women would use the day to look more closely at the well-paid opportunities available in craft trades. The Minister also highlighted two trailblazers, Sisters Megan and Mollie Northridge, who were the first women to graduate from the Access to Apprenticeship programme at TU Dublin last year. Megan is now doing a plumbing apprenticeship with Jones Engineering while Mollie is a carpentry apprentice with Dublin City Council.

Aisling Lee spoke about her journey from her days as a young girl who enjoyed taking electrical items apart to find out how they work to her current role as an Application Development Analyst at Accenture highlighting the routes of progression available to apprentice trainees. Aisling completed an apprenticeship with the ESB, studied Electrical and Control Systems at TU Dublin before completing a Level 8 Bachelor of Engineering in Computer and Communications.

Professor Gerry Farrell, Dean and Director of the College of Engineering and Built Environment, spoke about the exceptionality of Access to Apprenticeship, which is the first programme to mix TU Dublin’s longstanding traditions of craft trade training and accessible education. He also thanked JP Morgan Chase and the ESB for their support and congratulated Bobby Maher and Therese Fitzgerald for their excellent work on the programme over the last number of months.

If you would like to find out more about the Access to Apprenticeship Programme and the application process, please visit here

Megan and Mollie Northridge, Graduates of Access to Apprenticeship