Ireland must rapidly upskill and expand its construction workforce over the next decade to meet critical housing and climate goals, warns a new report by the Technological University of the Shannon.
The study projects that 284,000 additional and reskilled construction workers will be required by 2030. This includes 120,000 new hires and 164,000 existing workers needing retraining. An added 26,000 third-level engineering and construction students must also gain new skills.
The research highlights worrying gaps as enrollment in construction courses, though growing, remains low. Apprenticeships are also decreasing, with shortages of plumbers and carpenters especially acute.
Engineers are also urgently needed, with estimates showing a 30-40% deficit in electrical, structural, civil and energy engineering roles, as well as quantity surveyors.
Achieving Ireland's housing and emissions targets will require better utilization of current buildings, high-quality renovations, and innovative construction techniques, the report emphasizes.
Upskilling the existing workforce and attracting new talent into construction careers is deemed critical to deliver progress on these pressing national priorities.
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