CIF calls for a representative of the building sector to be appointed to Government

The CIF has said the publication of the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs 2013 underlines the need to have a representative for the construction sector in the Government.  The CIF believes that the sector needs a voice in Government fighting for the industry if the large numbers of unemployed former construction workers is to be addressed. 

From the 333 points put forward by the Government in the updated Action Plan a total of 5 actions points relating specifically to the construction sector and only 3 of these were new points.  This is despite 109,000 former construction workers being currently on the Live Register, representing one quarter of total unemployment.

Speaking in reaction to the plan, CIF Director General Tom Parlon said, “Any actions to reduce the number of unemployed construction workers must be welcomed.  In that sense the CIF looks forward to seeing the Government bringing forward the measures they have outlined in the latest Action Plan relating to the construction sector.

“The ongoing review of the development management guidelines will help our industry and the CIF also eagerly awaits the publication of the Forfas strategy for the construction sector.  There were also some measures relating to the green economy and foreign direct investment which will in time create construction work.

“However we are disappointed that only 5 of the 333 action points brought forward specifically deal with the construction sector and of those 2 points have been recycled from the 2012 plan.  Surely the Government should be bringing forward more measures to create employment opportunities for the sector that is responsible for one in four of the people on the dole queues?

“It is another example of how the construction sector is not receiving sufficient representation in Government.  We’ve seen this with the ongoing delay in enacting the Construction Contracts Bill, the lack of action to help the sector in Budget 2013 and on numerous other occasions.

“The industry needs a voice in Government representing our industry and helping to promote construction related issues.  As it stands we are falling between the various Departments and none are taking responsibility for promoting construction issues.

“If the Government wants to show the action they are taking to help employment in our sector this is one step which would cost little to the Exchequer but could pay huge social dividends to our industry and to the number of construction workers on the Live Register,” Mr. Parlon concluded.