Now is the time to step up and play a vital role in Ireland’s future, CIF Director General Tom Parlon

by | Oct 24, 2021

This October marks the start of the next phase of our industry’s evolution. The recession and its impact have now receded into the past but new challenges have been put in front of construction.

Following the launch of Ireland’s €165billion National Development Plan (NDP) earlier in the month, the Government has turned to us to end the housing crisis, transform our economy, shape Ireland’s future through Project Ireland 2040 and help our country to end climate change through retrofit and climate resilience.

This will be a ‘decade of delivery’ for the industry as we begin to translate the ambitions set out in these strategies into reality – creating stronger and more vibrant climate resilient communities all around Ireland. I have no doubt our great industry will deliver as we always do. But this decade of delivery will necessitate huge changes in how our
industry operates.

The work outlined in the NDP, retrofitting and the Housing for All strategy, will increasingly only be won by companies that are digitalised, climate friendly and those who employ modern methods of construction.

Our industry has faced these opportunities before and failed to transform. This fledgling journey to modernisation inevitably ended by the
economic downturn. Yet, what is exciting is that the likes of the NDP and Housing for All creates a pipeline of work that can provide careers for generations of workers and a stable business environment for our companies for the next decade.

Our aim must be to ‘build sustainable buildings sustainably’ over the next 10 years. This time we must step up and play our part.

Engaging with Construction Safety Week

One area we have transformed our industry is in terms of safety over the past 30 years. Every accident is an accident too many. Every fatality is a tragedy. Through significant investment and efforts, we have driven down accidents on site. Fatalities are very low and thankfully not
occurring on construction sites, rather during activities such as one-off self renovations.

This month’s Construction Safety Week begins where we focus on spreading the safety message throughout the industry. This year we will focus on getting that message out to micro-enterprises and sole traders where most accidents and
fatalities occur. I encourage you to get involved.

I’m happy also to see the focus on mental wellbeing. The CIF welcomes the work of organisations such as the Lighthouse Club charity for bringing this into firm focus, taking a proactive approach with campaigns such as Help Inside The Hard Hat.

Our dedicated safety team here at the CIF, led by Director Dermot Carey, has curated an inspiring programme of events and resources and we hope that all our members will join in promoting and actively engaging in matters relating to health and safety in our industry this week … and every week.

Wishing all our members, supporters and sponsors a happy and healthy Construction Safety Week 2021.

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