The Construction Industry Federation (CIF) has published a ‘12 Steps for 20,000 Construction Jobs’ guide – aimed at encouraging politicians to take simple actions which could enhance construction employment throughout the country.
The guide, which will be circulated to TDs and Senators this week, outlines how 20,000 additional jobs could be created in the industry if simple policy decisions were implemented during 2015.
Last year the construction sector accounted for 45% of all the additional jobs created in the Irish economy. Of the 29,100 additional jobs created in Ireland during 2014, 13,100 were in construction. According to the CIF even further progress could be made in creating construction employment if the Oireachtas were to pass a series of measures aimed at promoting the industry. The majority of these measures had already been promised by the Government.
The measures are:
- Implement the Construction Contracts Act (which was signed into law by President Higgins in July 2013).
- Complete the review of the Public Works Contracts and implement the required changes
- Enact legislation which will allow for a Registered Employment Agreement (REA)/ Registered Employment Order (REO) for industrial sectors
- Provide incentives to employers to take on apprentices
- Advance critical infrastructure projects
- Increase capital spending
- Reduce bundling of public projects
- Progress non banking finance for development capital
- Publish and enact the Planning and Development (No. 2) Bill 2014
- Reduce the tax and regulatory costs in construction
- Put CIRI on a statutory basis
- Extend and amend the Home Renovation Incentive scheme
Speaking about the initiative, CIF Director General Tom Parlon said, “The politicians have the power to take a number of simple steps that would have a major impact on the construction industry and the creation of jobs. Our hope is that this guide will help highlight some construction issues to Ministers, TDs and Senators over the remaining months of this Oireachtas term. The steps we have outlined are all realistic, achievable and in line with the State’s broader policy agenda. They can be easily implemented during 2015, so long as the political will is there to support them. Most of them have already been flagged by the Government as being measures they were working towards.
“There is considerable scope for the construction industry to be creating vast numbers of jobs over the coming years. However the industry needs sustained activity if there is to be a substantial increase in the number of jobs created. The pickup in construction activity we have seen over the last 20 months has primarily been concentrated on the Greater Dublin region. If we want to see more job opportunities regionally around the country involving the many different construction disciplines then further action needs to be taken.
“The steps we are highlighting are all relatively straightforward and are all within the grasp of the current Oireachtas. If all these actions were implemented during the course of 2015, the CIF believes an additional 20,000 jobs would be created in the industry over the next 3 years.
“As figures recently released by the Department of Social Protection highlight former construction workers still make the largest portion of people on the dole. If the politicians wish to reduce that number then our ‘12 Steps for 20,000 Construction Jobs’ details some simple solutions they can take,” Mr. Parlon concluded.