Industry positioned to deliver on the national development plan but clear pipeline of work is crucial

by | Mar 15, 2024

The Construction Industry Federation has said that a clear pipeline of work is vital to support investment in resources needed to deliver critical infrastructure, but that the industry is well-positioned to respond to the ambitions of the National Development Plan.

Speaking following the release of a recent ESRI report on the Plan’s priorities and capacity, Hubert Fitzpatrick, CIF Director General, said:

“A clear pipeline of projects will enable the industry to invest and procure the resources that are required to deliver on the infrastructure outlined in the National Development Plan. The Government’s commitment to investing in the NDP is critical for providing this certainty to support investment and growth in the sector.

“Ireland’s population now stands at 5.2 million. This presents a challenge, but we also have a prime opportunity to harness this growth. We critically need a built environment including roads, transport systems, schools, hospitals and utilities.

“If we don’t provide this infrastructure, our critical housing and climate commitment targets will be delayed. The report recognises the need for increased housing targets, which we welcome.

“The industry is confident in its ability to recruit enough workers to deliver national construction projects within the current employment context. In 2019 there were 145,600 employed in the construction sector, growing to 167,400 by Quarter 3 2023. The industry labour force grew by almost 22,000 despite difficult years, which included Covid.

“Apprenticeship numbers are strong with 6,500 new apprentices registered in 2023 and there are over 23,000 apprentices currently in training. We welcome the Government’s investment in the National Careers in Construction Action Plan and the initiatives taking place across bodies such as the National Construction Training Centre, Solas and the National Apprenticeship Office.

“While there is a need for labour, the volume needed is not insurmountable and the industry is responding collaboratively. The importance of a clear pipeline of work to attract employees and give them confidence that they can build a future in construction is crucial.”

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