A recent report from Ireland's Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science outlines the country's construction skills gap and proposes solutions to promote careers in the sector by meeting Ireland's construction skills needs.
The analysis estimates that 50,831 new workers will be needed in construction occupations between 2023-2030 in order to meet Ireland's housing and retrofitting targets under the Housing for All and National Retrofit Plan.
The demand is particularly high for new crafts workers like electricians, plumbers and carpenters, with 30,000 workers required. However, apprenticeship registrations in these trades fell during the pandemic, creating a skills shortfall.
The report highlights the significant gender imbalance in Ireland's construction industry workforce. Only around 10% of the construction workforce are women. Promotional campaigns aimed at females, especially students, will be key to addressing this issue.
Strategies are proposed to reposition construction as an attractive, dynamic career option through initiatives focused on training, recruitment and marketing. There is a need to highlight emerging career paths in areas like offsite manufacturing, technology and sustainability.
Schools outreach to educate guidance counselors and students on career options is recommended. Employers also need to be encouraged to offer more apprenticeships and work placements. The aim is to showcase the diverse roles and high demand for skills.
The Industry Capability Group will receive biannual updates on the promotion plans and skills gap analysis. A Delivery Oversight Group may also be established to coordinate and monitor implementation.
Meeting Ireland's construction industry goals will require drawing more young people into the sector. This report provides a blueprint for promoting construction as an exciting career path with strong future growth and opportunities.
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