29 APR 2018
The construction industry in Ireland has undergone considerable change in the last decade, the effect of which has resulted in a legacy malfunction in the construction labour market. This paper examines the significant shortage of professionals and analyses the options available to the sector in response to the problem.
Moreover, consideration is given to the implications to the industry and the drivers and barriers to recruitment. Given the nature of the situation which the industry finds itself in, this paper pursues a possible solution aimed at satisfying all stakeholders while preserving quality and confidence in the industry.
The recent construction downturn led to high levels of construction unemployment, resulting in the mass emigration of construction professionals. Additionally, perceptions of job uncertainty in construction deterred new entrants into construction-related training and education programmes such as Quantity Surveying.
If a skills gap is allowed to prevail, then there is a tangible threat to the industry’s cost competitiveness. As such, value for money becomes merely theoretical, and the cost to the economy could be the loss of its much-valued foreign direct investment as the construction industry becomes unable to deliver for its clients. Although traditionally reserved for vocational skills, apprenticeship could provide an alternative method of training construction professionals, such as Quantity Surveyors, in a more expeditious manner.
Consequently, this may serve as a possible mechanism to address the current disequilibrium in the construction labour market. Accordingly, the future Irish construction industry, by embracing diversity, may benefit from an improved delivery of personnel which is more resilient to the cyclical elasticity of the construction economy and thereby improve the talent pipeline.
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