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Survey: Recruitment difficulties across construction industry

Wednesday, 6th March, 2019 4:33pm

Construction companies across Ireland are experiencing difficulties recruiting qualified, experienced and even entry-level workers across most disciplines.

Across the board, qualified tradespeople are most in demand, particularly those in the wet trades such as block laying, plastering, tiling and painting/decorating, a new survey has revealed.

Respondents also reported a severe lack of engineers, quantity surveyors, foremen, project managers, general operatives, ground workers and apprentices.

74 per cent of those surveyed in the Construction Industry Federation (CIF) survey, said that these recruitment issues are having a direct effect on their companies’ ability to deliver projects on time.

79 per cent of respondents reported that difficulties with recruitment are negatively affecting their business.

Dermot Carey, Director of Safety & Training, Construction Industry Federation (CIF) said: “We are working hard to promote the industry as a career destination for more young people. Despite a healthy 25 year pipeline of work, increasing wages, more technology-led careers and the global nature of construction careers, numbers of young people registering for apprenticeships and apply to construction management in third level is static or declining.

“There is a noble purpose to a career in construction and we have to get that message out to young people.

“Unfortunately, schools are only considered truly successful when over 95 per cent of their students go on to third level. The high dropout rates of young people after one year in colleges shows the problem with this thinking,” he added.

“The HEA recently found that 63 per cent of student drop outs from courses occur in the first year. How many of those young people would have been better served by being directed towards other courses or apprentices? Schools must be assessed on their ability to help find the learning route that suits students best – not simply how many students go on to third level alone.”

The CIF is also calling for the many Irish people living abroad with construction expertise and qualifications to return here to work.

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