Construction industry targeting transition year students to avert future skills shortages

The construction industry has launched a transition year initiative to facilitate students interested in working in Ireland’s most innovative construction companies. The initiative will see students completing work experience in the offices of construction companies in addition to on construction sites.

Dermot Carey, Director, Safety & Training, CIF said: “The construction industry has undergone significant changes in the past decade.  Technology, safety, equality and diversity and salaries have all improved significantly recently. In the coming weeks, the Government will announce an investment programme worth €115b that will mean the construction industry will provide career security for the next decade. In addition, the Government has unveiled a plan to produce 35,000 houses per year for the next five years. So there will be an abundance of work for young people starting their careers.

Overall, we estimate that the industry needs at least 110,000 new workers over the next three years to keep pace with the demand for activity. The industry now provides technology-driven careers in addition to engineering roles and of course traditional trades. Construction companies are now internationalising and they require talent in finance, operations and marketing, just like every other sector.

As the global construction industry grows by 50% up to 2030, working in any role within an Irish construction company gives you skills that can act as a passport to work in any country. Increasingly, our employees, who are building for Facebook, Amazon, Google and other global companies, are being recruited to work in other countries.

The industry recognises that is is competing with other industries in vying for the best talent. So, we have launched this initiative to show transition year students that the industry is very safe, it provides a secure career path and increasing salaries; and is increasingly diverse. We need to show young people that there are many, very modern and innovative roles on offer. This initiative will enable companies to give Transition Year (TY) students a chance to experience construction in the very best way by exploring their interest.”


The construction industry has hired an additional 50,000 people since the recovery began in 2013. The ESRI estimates that the industry is at 50% of the level considered essential to the Irish economy. According to DKM Economic Consultants 2016 Demand for Skills report and Aecom’s 2018 forecast, the industry is set to grow by between 9 – 14% this year.

The CIF has launched the “CIF Work Placement Initiative” which will enable CIF Member companies nationwide to offer work experience placements to TY students in their local schools.

In order to streamline this collaboration, the CIF has teamed up with to offer a platform to members, which will allow companies to advertise their willingness to take work placement students.

To assist with the process, the CIF and have also developed industry-specific guidance for both the sponsoring company and the student, to answer any questions and ensure that the experience meets the curriculum needs.

Construction companies interested in taking part in this initiative can visit to sign up.

Pictured above: Eimear Sinnott (Careers Portal) Joanne Cluxton ( Mercury Engineering) John Carton (Careers Portal), Beatrice Dooley (Pres. ICG), Tom Parlon, Director General, CIF, Dominic Doheny, President, CIF, John O’Shaughnessy (Chair CIF Manpower, Education & Training Committee), Sinead Savage (Collen), Dermot Carey, Director Safety and Training, CIF.