CIF launches national ‘Home for Everyone’ competition

The CIF is launching a national competition for senior cycle students called ‘A Home for Everyone’. Aimed at senior cycle students, it is a team-based project where students work together to design a home that helps ‘solve’ climate change, the housing crisis and addresses inclusivity.

The submissions should to be eco-friendly, affordable and suitable for both elderly people and those with physical disabilities.

The competition will run until 7th February with judging taking place until mid-March. The winning team will have their design rendered into a three-dimensional model, so they can virtually walk through the house with friends and family in March 2021.

In addition, the winning school will receive high-end measuring equipment, a laser level and a masterclass in the use of the equipment. The winning team members will have the option of taking a CIF scholarship or access its apprenticeship programme if they do decide to take a construction-related career route in the future.

Competition designed with education leaders

The programme was developed by “Class Of Your Own” led by CEO Alison Watson MBE in collaboration with TUI, the Techno Teachers Association Ireland, the Engineering Technology Teachers Association, SOLAS and the Institute of Guidance Counsellors. This programme is designed to compliment current teaching and career guidance principles. 

Viable career choice for children

A recent CIF study conducted nationally by iReach shows that over 63% of parents would be happy for their children to pursue a career in construction. The majority of parents, (86%) believe people working in construction is critical to build the future. Over 42% feel the industry provides stable and realistic job opportunities.

Interestingly, over half of parents (54%) also believed the construction sector provides careers for women as well as men.

CIF’s Director General, Tom Parlon stated, “The past few months have shown how solid a career in construction is, we have been able to operate throughout most of the difficult Covid-19 period.  Increasingly, our workers are traveling internationally, using technology instead of a hammer, and are working as part of diverse, multi-disciplinary teams.  Salaries and wages are increasing all the time and there’s a clear career path from building site to boardroom for those who want it. Today’s competition is a celebration of the creativity and purpose that’s sometimes taken for granted in the construction industry.  We’re marrying young people’s concerns about homelessness, climate change and inclusivity with construction to demonstrate that a career can make a difference and have a real purpose.”

Speaking at the launch, the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD said, “This is an inspiring competition, one which will foster a greater understanding not only of the construction industry but of the many other factors which determine construction projects, such as environmental and societal considerations.

“The CIF research shows that there is a widely held acknowledgement of and respect for the construction sector and it is competitions such as these which will spark interest and challenge young people to become involved in construction. I would strongly encourage young people to engage with the competition and test their creative skills. I look forward to viewing the finished projects,” he concluded. 

Minister Michael McGrath, welcomed the initiative in the context of delivering the skilled individuals required to deliver Project Ireland 2040 over the next 20 years.

“‘A Home for Everyone’ cuts to the heart of the matter. Uniquely, this competition unites government, the construction industry and educators to inspire young people to address some of the greatest challenges facing us as a nation including housing, the climate challenge and inclusivity through the prism of the construction sector. We need an agile, innovative and adaptable construction sector to deliver on the ambition set out in Project Ireland 2040 when we anticipate we will have an additional one million people on this island. This competition is a novel way to showcase the types of quality careers available in the construction sector and I wish it every success.”

Alison Watson MBE, CEO of Class of Your Own said, “It’s been an absolute pleasure to work with CIF, to develop a challenge that presents its members with a genuine  opportunity to lead the charge in inspiring young people and their teachers to access modern, digital careers in the built environment. I applaud this collaboration and look forward to discovering Ireland’s future construction talent.”