John Sisk & Son’s new carpentry and joinery apprentices have completed one of Sisk’s first tree planting exercises as part of its commitment to planting 1.7m native woodland trees over the next nine years. Sisk’s new group of apprentices got stuck in to helping plant the trees near Manor Kilbride in Co. Wicklow.
Normal apprentice recruitment was briefly interrupted as a result of Covid 19, but Sisk will hire 11 apprentices this year. This continues the historic Sisk family tradition of hiring carpentry & joinery apprentices each year for its training centre on the Naas Road in Dublin.
Working in conjunction with the Woodland Environment Fund and Forestry Service Ltd, over 46,000 trees were planted in Manor Kilbride, Co. Wicklow with an initial investment of €20,000. The tree planting forms one of the first steps for Sisk in line with its recently published 2030 Sustainability Roadmap that outlines ambitious targets and actions, aligned with UN Sustainable Development Goals. The planted saplings are primarily native broadleaf with pockets of native conifer (Scots pine). This mix will provide greater habitat and species diversity over the years.
In 2019, the United Nations General Assembly declared 2021–2030 the “UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration”. Sisk has acknowledged this call to action and recognised the need for a massive acceleration in the global restoration of degraded and destroyed ecosystems, and the positive impact this would have on the climate crisis, biodiversity, food security and water supply.
The land is owned by local farmer Martin O’Hara. By the planting of this Native Woodland Martin too has demonstrated his commitment to the sustainable management of forestry and native woodlands in Ireland. This will also support Ireland’s plan to tackle climate change by planting 440 m trees by 2040.
The planting of this Native Woodland was funded by the Department of Agriculture Food and Marine through an establishment grant and 15 annual premium payments.
Sinéad Hickey, Head of Sustainability, Ireland & Europe, John Sisk & Son said: “We are delighted to have partnered with Martin O’Hara and his family, Forestry Service Ltd and the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine in Manor Kilbride. We have a target to plant 1.7m tress by 2029, which forms a part of our wider sustainability roadmap. This is an important first step in our journey are demonstrates our commitment to a range of sustainability topics our company and wider industry needs to address.”
Ronan Murphy, Manager, Joinery and Training Centre, John Sisk & Son said: “Our recruitment of apprentices is an historic Sisk family tradition. COVID-19 has presented many challenges in our training centre, but we have adapted to work within guidelines. Sisk’s investment in our apprentices is part of our strategy to give young people the opportunity to go on to become our future foremen and site managers. Our model is tried and tested with many apprentices getting opportunities to work in Europe for Sisk.”
Main image: Sinéad Hickey, Head of Sustainability, Ireland & Europe, John Sisk & Son