Vacancies: Project/Site Managers, Quantity Surveyors, Building Services , Site Engineers, Civil Engineers, BIM Coordinators.
Permits were most frequently issued for these occupations. The amount of 3rd Level Civil / Structural engineering awards had been declining in recent years but even with a slight increase in 2018 these roles have been identified by SOLAS as Difficult-to-fill.
An article in Irish Building Magazine by PJ Rudden identified some of the reasons for this concerning skills gap:
- Emigration or retraining of construction workers after last crash – many didn’t return. Ripple effect = lack of middle management level workers with 10-15 years’ experience.
- Not an attractive option to school leavers after the crash.
- Poor uptake of apprenticeships – perception of lower wages & status compared to IT & the nature of building sites.
He believes we are beginning to see a renewed focus on education & training to supply the construction sector. He states we need to embrace constant upskilling and new technologies / materials training and points out soft skills such as collaboration & communication are now required alongside technical ability due to the complex nature of modern building techniques.
He believes the demand for construction workers will increase up to 2040 due to public expenditure policy decisions eg housing or environmental retrofitting & Government commitments to large infrastructure projects and warns that these workers have cross transferable skills so any projects running concurrently will place pressure on worker supply.
To read more on making construction Apprenticeships more visible to your students click here.
To read Solas’ Difficult-to-fill vacancies survey Oct 2020 in full click here.
To read Solas’ National Skills Bulletin 2021 in full click here.
To read the Department of Enterprise Trade & Employment’s ‘Building Future Skills: The Demand For Skills In Ireland’s Built Environment Sector to 2030’ report click here.