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“Construction Worker Shortage Threatens Irish Housing Schemes, Housing for All at Risk”

Dublin: The housing sector in Ireland faces a dire crisis as it grapples with a severe shortage of both skilled and unskilled construction workers, jeopardising the government’s ambitious Housing for All initiative. More than 50,000 workers are needed to keep the construction sector functioning, and without a resolution, the entire industry could grind to a halt.

The government’s plan to build 33,000 houses by 2030 is under threat, as various key trades such as electricians, plumbers, painters, and masons are in critically short supply.

Report Highlights the Urgent Shortfall

A recent report by the training agency Solas highlights the alarming scarcity of construction workers in Ireland, with a projected need for an additional 51,697 workers over the next eight years. These shortages are spread across multiple trades, including:

Electricians: 7,038
Plumbers: 7,035
Plasterers: 7,035
Painters/Decorators: 4,807
Insulation Installers: 1,807
Glaziers
Window fabricators
Roofers

Struggles in Apprenticeship Schemes

Despite efforts to address the crisis through apprenticeship programmes, the workforce shortage persists. The Education Department’s initiative to provide apprenticeships to students has fallen short of its targets. Solas suggests that improving financial incentives could help attract more workers to the construction sector.

Government Action and Future Plans

In response to the crisis, the government is taking action to establish a skilled training centre for construction workers. Additionally, plans are underway to open six retrofitting centres in collaboration with education and training boards. These measures are intended to address the workforce shortage and ensure the continuity of vital housing projects.

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