The Labour Party this morning launched its plan for a living wage and investing in skills, ‘Launching a Skills Revolution’.
The plan commits to:
- Create 50,000 apprenticeship and traineeship places over the next five years. We will also develop an additional 60 apprenticeship types to ensure a far broader range of possibilities for young people.
- Introduce 100,000 new free part-time education places. These will be provided through the Springboard, Momentum and eCollege programmes. They will ensure that people already in work can afford to upskill and develop their career prospects.
- Improve third level funding and access. As we await the findings of the Expert Group on Higher Education Funding, Labour will reduce the student contribution by €500, invest in demographic and staff funding and set aside €60m for postgraduate support.
- Direct the Low Pay Commission to target a Minimum Wage of 60% of median earnings by 2021. This would be €11.30 per hour in today’s value. Government will lead by example – we will make the State a living wage employer by 2018.
Joan was joined at the event by Minister for Business and Employment Ged Nash and Joe Costello TD.
Speaking at the event, Joan said: “’Labour believes in opportunity for all, not just for a few. We will create 50,000 new apprenticeships and traineeships to give young people choice in how they build their careers.
“There is also a need to help people already in work to reskill and upskill. So we will introduce 100,000 new free part-time education places. These will be provided through the Springboard, Momentum and eCollege programmes.
“They will ensure that people already in work can afford to upskill and develop their career prospects. Opportunity lies at the heart of all these steps.’
Minister Ged Nash stated: “Labour’s vision is not just for full employment but for fair employment. A good job deserves a decent wage, one that provides for a decent standard of living, without having to depend on State supports.
“Labour will ensure that the Government itself and all State bodies become living wage employers. We will address abuses of zero hour and low hour contracts, we will legislate to prohibit the casualisation of workers and we will safeguard the rights of workers whose jobs are swallowed up in insolvencies. We will do this because we believe that decent workplaces aren’t just good for employees: they are good for business, for our economy and for society as a whole.”
Deputy Joe Costello added: “This election is one of the most significant in the history of the state. The choice facing the electorate is clear: to continue with progress or risk throwing away our hard won economic recovery. Labour has a comprehensive plan to develop a skills-based economy and to deliver better jobs and better pay. We are the only party with a proven track record of creating a strong economy and building a decent society.”
Link to ‘Launching a Skills Revolution’ – http://labr.ie/1UYiFqW