Meeting construction skills and labour demands in the mid west

by | May 11, 2022

Pictured above is Joe Leddin, Paul Patton (LCETB), Michael Joyce, Eimear Brophy (LCETB) attending the TUS Afternoon for Employers at the Strand Hotel. Picture Brendan Gleeson

Upskilling and training opportunities were the focus of the Mid West Construction Skills event held in Limerick. Joe Leddin, Manager of the Mid West Regionals Skills Forum, teamed up with the CIF’s Mid West branch to discuss the many different training options available to members in the region.

Training providers such as Tipperary Education & Training Board, Limerick Clare Education and Training Board (LCETB), University of Limerick and the Technological University of the Shannon were present to highlight the vast array of courses on offer. Designed with workers in mind, the courses have flexible blended delivery and take place in the evenings or at weekends, with many of the elements online.

Construction related degrees and Masters courses can be obtained this way in under a year. Practical shorter upskilling courses are also available in NZEB, the Circular Economy, digitalisation and dry lining, among others. “It’s evident from this event that there have never been as many training and upskilling courses available to members in the region,” said Ronan O’Brien, secretary of the Mid West Branch.

John O’Shaughnessy, Michael Joyce, Joe Leddin, Ronan O’Brien and Dermot Carey. Picture Brendan Gleeson

“Many of these courses are also free or subsidised by the Government. Joe Leddin has been a key driving force for this and has always understood the importance of the industry to the region.”

In his opening address, Mid-West Branch Chairman Michael Joyce said: “Labour has become a key issue once again for the construction industry. The National Development Plan, Housing for All and the National Retrofit Plan will see increased labour demand in the industry going forward.

“As a result, retention and upskilling of existing staff will be a key consideration for construction companies going forward. Hence why it is timely to hold today’s discussion,” he added. The event was an opportunity for education providers and construction businesses to discuss future industry skills needs. CIF Director of Training Dermot Carey and John O’Shaughnessy, Chairman of the CIF’s National Education & Skills Committee, updated attendees on all the challenges, initiatives and stakeholder engagement that have been happening on a national level.

Joe Leddin, Manager Midwest Regional Skills, speaking at TUS Afternoon for Employers at the Strand Hotel. Picture Brendan Gleeson

There were also discussions on attracting new people into the industry. Representatives from Limerick City Build, LCETB and the Youthreach Education Programme spoke of the number of practical initiatives and courses running to help people from disadvantaged backgrounds gain the skills and confidence required to work in the construction industry. The establishment of a NZEB National Centre of Excellence in LCETB’s Raheen Campus in April was also discussed.

“The Regional Skills Forum will continue to work with The CIF and its members to help address any training needs that the industry requires,” said Joe Leddin. “It was great to see so many companies and training providers together again in person.”


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