Irish ministries unite to pull more people into construction

In a bid to recruit 27,500 extra people into housebuilding in the next five years, two Irish government ministries – social protection and education – have teamed up for a comprehensive recruitment drive.

The 18-month pilot “FutureBuilding Initiative” will be led by a new, cross-functional unit staffed by government education and training experts.

It will analyse recruitment needs by location and skill sets, aim training opportunities at unemployed or inactive people, find people who used to work in construction or have relevant prior training, and use the EU’s “Eures” programme to lure 18-30-year-olds to Ireland from across Europe.

With its population of just over 5 million, Ireland aims to build 33,000 extra new housing units a year to 2030, which means the housebuilding labour force will need to grow from around 40,000 now to 67,500 by the middle of the decade.

“Construction is a sector where we know there are huge numbers of job opportunities,” said minister for social protection, Heather Humphreys. “Through the new FutureBuilding initiative, we will be working directly with jobseekers, supporting them through training and skills development and matching them with employers.”

She added: “We clearly have a housing crisis driven by a shortage in supply. However, as supply increases, we need to ensure we have enough people to match the demand.”

This month she will launch a “Construction Work and Skills week” to promote jobs, training and apprenticeships in construction.

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