More than 50,000 jobs have been created in the construction industry since the lowest point of the recession in 2013. CSO figures, released this week,indicate that industry has hired approximately 1,000 people per month in this period. It is expected that one in 16 people in the economy will be employed in construction by 2019 as the industry enters a sustained growth phase.
The construction sector has an important role to play in the continued recovery of the economy, according to Minister for Business, Enterprise, and Innovation, Heather Humphreys.
“I welcome the news that over 50,000 jobs have been created in the construction industry since 2013, and that it is entering a sustained growth phase. It also builds on the positive announcement from the CSO that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for January 2018 was 6.1%, down from 6.2% in December 2017, and a peak of 15.1% in February 2012,” she said.
Tom Parlon, CIF director general, said, “The growth in construction jobs over the last five years is a testament to the strong pipeline of work in Ireland over the next 15-20 years.
“In 2016, DKM consultants predicted a 9% year on year growth for the industry up to 2020 based on the delivery of an annual 25,000 housing output and the Government’s €43billion public capital programme.
Recently, economic commentators such as the ESRI now indicated that we require over 35,000 per annum housing output. In addition, Minister Donohoe has increased the Public Capital programme substantially and will soon launch a 10-year infrastructure investment plan and a planning framework for Ireland up to 2040. So, there is a very strong pipeline of work in housing and infrastructure delivery for the foreseeable future.
The industry is attracting talent into a new wave of office-based technology heavy roles in addition to traditional onsite trades and crafts roles.
Construction has changed drastically. Building is now heavily reliant on modern construction management technologies such as Building Information Modelling (BIM). Increasingly, construction is a universal language of commerce and Irish people are increasingly in demand around the globe due to their high levels of expertise and competence.
A report commissioned by the CIF, (Demand for Skills in Construction to 2020) and carried out by DKM economic consultants, states that construction activity can sustain an additional 112,000 jobs up to 2020. The report showed that the Irish industry will require up to 2020 in the region of:
– 30,800 carpenters and joiners
– 13,900 plasters/Floor and tilers
– 9,400 painters and decorators
– 9,600 managers
– 18,100 operatives
– 27,600 general labourers