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Extra 76,000 Construction Workers Needed to Tackle Ireland's Housing Crisis

Experts have issued a stark warning about the skills shortage in the construction sector.

Thu October 27, 2016 - National Edition
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The website the Irish Mirror is reporting that an extra 76,000 construction workers are needed to deliver on the government's €43 billion action plan to tackle the housing crisis, it was warned on Wednesday.

Experts have issued a stark warning about the skills shortage in the sector, saying there may not be enough trained people to meet the demand.

According to the latest DKM report for the Construction Industry Federation, there are 137,000 people directly employed in construction.

But they say this needs to increase to 213,000 by 2020 in order to tackle the housing supply shortage and infrastructure deficits across the country.

The report highlights the lack of apprentices in the industry. There were 4,400 apprentices across all trades in construction last year, compared with 23,700 in 2007.

While so far this year, only around 1,500 new apprentices have registered.

They say the message needs to get to young people and those who have emigrated that there are careers across all trades and functions in construction companies.

They are calling for a new forum to be established to address the barriers in the education system which are blocking the delivery of qualified skilled workers.

It says the government and agencies like SOLAS and the Education and Training Boards should work together as part of the initiative.

According to CIF President Michael Stone, construction has the potential to become a €20 billion industry by 2020, employing 213,000 workers - making it the largest generator of jobs in all communities around the economy.

But he says this is only possible if there are enough skilled workers in the labour market to meet the demand.

“The construction industry will be an engine for growth and job creation over the next decade.

“Construction companies are delivering high quality projects domestically and internationally and have never offered better opportunities for people to work and build careers.

“We as an industry are focusing on dramatically increasing the number of apprentices in the industry... We are seeking to establish a Construction Skills Forum involving relevant state agencies and Departments to monitor skills demand and to deliver initiatives to ensure there is an adequate supply of labour to deliver Ireland's infrastructure, housing and built environment requirements,” he said.

Source: The Irish Mirror

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