Talks to be held over third level fees charged to apprentices

Union had urged boycot of charges for student services at colleges

A meeting took place between TEEU general secretary Eamon Devoy and the Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn. Photograph: Frank Miller /	THE IRISH TIMES

A meeting took place between TEEU general secretary Eamon Devoy and the Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn. Photograph: Frank Miller / THE IRISH TIMES

Wed, Mar 5, 2014, 06:21

Talks are to take place between the Department of Education and the Technical Engineering and Electrical Union (TEEU) in a bid to resolve a row over the charging of apprentices for student services at third level colleges.

The move follows a meeting between TEEU general secretary Eamon Devoy and the Minister Ruairi Quinn.

Speaking after the meeting Mr Devoy said he was “hopeful that the anomaly can be removed whereby apprentices can be charged fees of over €1,400 a year for student services they cannot avail of, while at the same time they are being denied access to various grants that students receive”.

“We have agreed to hold a series of meetings with the Department to find a solution to the problem.”

The dispute began in January when the TEEU recommended to apprenticeship members that they should not pay the fees.

The union said the fees had risen dramatically in recent years from an initial baseline of €50 to over €1,400 in some cases.

The TEEU said that apprentices will not receive their qualifications until outstanding fees are paid and that this in turn denied them access to work either at home or abroad.