CIF Director General, Tom Parlon, today welcomed strong employment growth in the construction industry but warned that certain construction sectors faced a looming skills shortage.
“Employment in the construction sector rebounded strongly in the first quarter of this year, showing an increase of 9,500 new jobs, a rise of 7.8 percent. This is an increase of 28,000 jobs since the first quarter of 2012. The industry has been adding jobs at a rate of about 1000 per month since the end of 2014. There is a huge potential regional and national jobs dividend from the construction industry.
The employment growth is occurring in civil engineering, contracting and in trades as the industry ramps up to meet the demand of Ireland’s rapidly growing economy and population. We’re seeing more cranes and data centres, rather than housing at this stage of the economic cycle. As industry is looked to ramp up to an annual housing output of 25000 by 2021 and the equally challenging objective of delivering €27 billion in infrastructure projects, we are predicting a significant skills shortage in the sector within five years. This has the potential to delay critical projects such as the Government’s ambitious social housing programme and infrastructure projects around the country.
Without an estimated 60,000 on the live register with construction experience, the CIF is engaging with Solas on a number of innovative approaches to upskill people and get them on sites as quickly and safely as possible. Our Shared Apprenticeship Scheme rolled out in Wexford allows apprentices experience working with a number of companies whilst developing essential skills in We have also launched a website www.apprentices.ie that aims to match employers and job seekers to suitable apprenticeships across the country.”