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Cork Independent

Business & Professional

Construction industry set to grow by 20% in 2019

Wednesday, 23rd January, 2019 4:30pm

A new all island Irish construction industry review has predicted that there will be significant growth in the construction industry, predicting a 20 per cent increase in 2019. The industry is set to be worth €24 billion.

An industry survey was also carried out with senior professionals in the public and private sectors to gain insight into sentiment, what is driving and blocking development and to the challenges the industry will face into the future. Over three quarters of the industry surveyed said that they felt positive about their own individual business outlook for 2019.

There are challenges too as only 15 per cent of those surveyed feel equipped to deal with the worsening talent shortage crisis. 40 per cent admitted that their inability to attract and keep talent is their biggest business concern.

Still, 77 per cent of the construction sector feel positive about future business outlook of their industry.

AECOM forecast growth of 14 per cent in 2018 but actual construction growth exceeded that and was 17.6 per cent, bringing output to €20 billion in 2018.

Director, AECOM in Ireland, John O’Regan said: “This year’s review unlocked a message of positivity and optimism within the construction industry in Ireland. That being said, areas of concern were highlighted such as the sustainability of our foreign direct investment (FDI) plan, how prepared companies felt to deal with looming talent shortage and our infrastructural resilience in the wake of increasing climate changes.”

“Success is not just attracting new FDI, it is also retaining it and continuing to adapt our infrastructure to ensure we meet future needs. Ireland has been tremendously effective in attracting FDI and many of these multinationals have committed to increasing their presence. However, whether it is technology firms in Dublin, pharmaceuticals in Cork or medtech in Galway, companies tend to cluster in specific well-developed regions.”

Mr O’Regan warned that “without strategic investment, these cities will become increasingly congested, uncompetitive and saturated in terms of resources. That is why greater foresight into our future infrastructure and housing requirements across cities and regional urban centres is crucial to ensure our continued economic growth and maintain our strong FDI pipeline.”

One of the other main challenges uncovered was the inability to attract and retain talent.

“With a significant percentage of the skilled workforce still choosing to work abroad, the pressure is mounting to attract workers to the industry.

“For them to choose Ireland as their long-term base, greater certainty is needed in terms of wages, costs of living and the viability of the market. Fears are mounting amongst industry that, unless access to talent improves, there will not be enough employees to meet the demands, in particular the Government’s housing requirements.”

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