‘Number of apprentices needs to more than double by 2020’ - CIF
The number of new apprentice registrations must rise from 1,700 to 4,000 by 2020 to deliver housing and infrastructure requirements, the Construction Industry Federation has said.
Speaking at the Oireachtas joint committee on education and skills yesterday, Dermot Carey, CIF director of safety and training, warned of an urgent need for the Government and industry to collaborate in attracting more people into the construction industry and to invest in construction skills training.
“The alternative is that we will fail to meet these targets, our housing crisis will continue and our infrastructure deficit will stall economic progress. This is a huge threat to Ireland and the long-term capacity of the construction industry,” Carey said.
Since 2013 the Irish construction industry has been hiring at a rate of 1000 additional employees a month and it is the principal industry sector in Ireland for the employment of apprentices.
At its height, the sector employed nearly 27,000 or 92pc of apprentices.
Following the decline of the economy from 2008 onwards, this number fell to a low of circa 7,000 in 2013.
In 2016, the CIF launched an innovative, ‘Shared Apprenticeship Scheme’ in conjunction with SOLAS, which allowed a number of member companies to take on apprentices as part of a consortium.
The scheme gave participating companies the ability to share apprentices with other members if the pace of work lessened, providing consistent training and work experience for the apprentices involved.