Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD has recently announced two important milestones for training and employment in Ireland’s construction sector. Laois Offaly Education and Training Board and the National Construction Training Campus at Mount Lucas have developed a Mobile NZEB Training Unit.
The mobile unit will travel to construction sites and schools across the country to allow people avail of the courses wherever they are. Attending the official launch at Coláiste Cois Life in Lucan, Minister Harris said: “To date, this year over 1,500 people have availed of training in retrofitting. “However, it is really important we continue to adapt models of delivery to ensure it is as easy as possible to get the training. “The development of this Mobile NZEB Training Rig is an important and exciting advancement for our construction skills and training offering. The Rig can be brought to construction sites and schools around the country, such as Coláiste Cois Life, which will greatly increase accessibility to the courses on offer. “The Rig is powered by solar PV panels and includes a working heat pump and ventilation system, making it entirely self-sufficient and showcasing excellent technologies.”
Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications Eamonn Ryan TD said: “We have seen strong growth in the delivery of home retrofits over the last 18 months, meeting and indeed, breaking our set targets so far, with a strong pipeline of work into the future. “Increasing the number of workers with retrofit skills will be critical to building on this momentum so I very much welcome this announcement.”
Minister Harris also launched the Careers in Construction Action Plan, a deliverable under the revised Housing for All plan. Minister Harris said: “The research underpinning the Careers in Construction Action Plan has identified the key barriers to careers in the sector. We have developed actions with the aim of minimising these barriers and promoting career opportunities. “These actions involved fundamental changes to our education sector’s skills offering, and include steps to tackling the gender bias in the sector.
“Careers in construction are so varied now, involving everything from off-site manufacturing, planning and design, to all of the on-site roles. There really is something for everyone and I would urge people to take fresh look at these opportunities. “This event highlights the important contribution that my Department is making towards meeting the skills needs to deliver on Housing for All targets.”
John O’Shaughnessy, Chair CIF Education, Training & Skills Committee added “CIF is pleased to be part of the Working Group for the promotion of Careers in Construction and welcomes the 20 action points outlined in the report being launched. “There is no doubt that we have a challenge to attract young people to the sector but as a group we are up for that challenge. We know the construction sector offers super careers to young people. “The big issues that impact on society, such as housing, climate change, infrastructure deficit will be solved by those working in this sector. We need to promote the opportunities that exist, and this action plan set a roadmap for achieving our goals.”