‘Rebuilding Ireland’ can add 75,000 Construction jobs by 2020

The construction industry can generate 75,000 jobs, create 25,000 houses per annum and deliver infrastructure projects worth over €26 billion, if a supportive policy framework is in place, the CIF’s annual conference heard today.

Michael-Stone-CIFCIF President Michael Stone in his address stated: “This year the construction industry has been tasked with ‘Rebuilding Ireland.’ It’s clear the Government recognises again that our industry and the progress of the Irish economy are intertwined.  Construction is critical to this country’s growth and job creation.  For every 10 jobs in construction, another 4 are created indirectly – meaning we support over 190,000 jobs in Ireland in communities throughout the country. 

In fact, the majority of key Government targets in the Action Plan for Jobs, the Public Capital Programme, the Enterprise 2025 strategy, the IDA’s FDI targets, the National Broadband Plan and others are dependent on our industry’s capacity to deliver high quality construction.  

We also underpin future economic development by delivering the physical infrastructure and housing that all other sectors depend on for their competitiveness. Additionally, we’re helping expand foreign direct investment into Ireland and supporting the related 1 in 5 jobs in the economy by building the specialist buildings, like the data centres and RDI hubs that these companies require. 

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Our research with Solas and DKM consultants indicates that the industry could create an additional 75,000 jobs by 2020 in the delivery of Government’s housing and infrastructure strategies.  These jobs will be generated by the 30,000 plus enterprises in construction- 99% of which have under 10 employees- that are dispersed across nearly every community in Ireland.  

Today, the Irish construction industry is starting on a journey that will lead to it becoming an internationally successful industry based in Ireland.  The global construction market is estimated to grow to $15trillion by 2030 and the Irish industry will step up to capture these opportunities generating jobs and growth and increasing exports significantly.  We will pursue the highest standards of construction, develop innovative products and services and deliver excellent value for money for domestic and international clients. 

To achieve this vision, we need to partner with Government today to ensure that the domestic market is a springboard to export growth for our companies.  We must work together to remove barriers to growth which make it impossible for the SME construction company to scale-up and realise their potential.  Addressing market failure in finance, supply constraints in housing, planning issues, low technology uptake amongst companies and collaboration across the supply chain will equip the industry to become globally successful.” 

The conference’s theme, ‘Constructing Ireland 2027′, focused on how the Irish construction industry will shape Irish society in the coming decade.  The conference kick started the creation of a 10 year vision that envisages an internationally recognised, innovative industry that delivers world class construction and drives economic recovery, job creation, FDI and regional development in the wider economy. 

In addition to Ministers Coveney and Donohoe, a number of national and international speakers also delivered their vision for the construction industry. These included: Julie Sinnamon, CEO of Enterprise Ireland; Mary Buckley, Deputy CEO of of IDA Ireland; Graham Watts, CEO of Construction Industry Council, UK; Ian Howard, EMEA Projects Director Kerry Group; PJ Rudden, Director of RPS Group; and economic perspectives were given by Annette Hughes of DKM Consultants and Edgar Morgenroth of the ESRI.

Read an indepth preview of the conference in the latest issue of Irish building magazine