Emigrant builders urged to come home
Construction bosses have appealed to thousands of builders who emigrated during the recession to return home, saying at least 112,000 more workers are needed.
Tom Parlon, director general of the Construction Industry Federation, said the ability to hire workers within Ireland is limited and companies are now turning to the diaspora as a "rich source of skilled labour".
"As we have been hiring about 1,000 a month over the past 50 months, we believe that the numbers of people we can reactivate from the Live Register is nearly spent.
"At the height of the last economic cycle, the industry had over 220,000 workers. At the nadir of the recession, we had lost over 150,000 employees to redundancy and emigration.
"We estimate that about 100,000 emigrated mainly to Australia, North America and the Middle East," he added.
He said estimates put the number of additional construction employees needed up to 2020 at between 112,000 and 120,000.
"With a 25-year pipeline of work outlined in the National Development Plan and Project Ireland 2040, we're calling on the diaspora to come home and build their lives, their communities, their careers, and their country," said Mr Parlon.