Cairn Homes plc has announced plans to develop the Cairn Apprenticeship Academy, in which the business will invest €10m over the next five years.
The Academy will help to enhance the long-term health and viability of the construction sector in Ireland, by addressing future skills in the industry.
Increasing the number of construction apprentices across the residential sector has been identified by the Government as an important part of delivering its Housing for All strategy. As an industry leader, Cairn is committed to working with the Government to tackle the challenges currently being experienced in housing supply.
The Academy will provide a suite of supports to incentivise new entrants into the construction industry, whether they are school leavers or workers who would like to re-skill and enter a career in construction.
The supports will also be open to existing apprentices who are currently working with a Cairn subcontractor, to support their learning and development.
Speaking at the launch, Minister for Further & Higher Education, Research, Innovation & Science, Simon Harris, TD said: “I’m delighted to be here today to launch Cairn’s Apprenticeship Academy. Increasing the number of apprenticeships is key to tackling the skills shortage we have in our country especially in the construction sector. These apprenticeships will prove to be viable career paths for so many of our young people and will be a worthy investment for our future.”
Michael Stanley, Chief Executive Officer, Cairn said: “Increasing housing output is integral to Ireland’s social, economic and environmental future. Cairn is on an ambitious growth trajectory and the future health of the industry’s workforce is integral to those plans. Today over 4,000 people are working full time on Cairn’s housing sites and only 160 of those are full time apprentices. Through a €10m investment in the Cairn Apprenticeship Academy, our plan is to double those apprenticeship numbers over the next five years.”
The Academy will see the creation of ‘learning zones’ on Cairn sites, where apprentices will have the opportunity to learn and practice their trade in a working-site environment.
It will also deliver a range of tutoring and educational programmes, and provide targeted financial supports to enable apprentices to embark on their construction careers. Tailored business programmes will also provide options for successfully qualified apprentices in support of their future career pathways.
As part of the Academy, Cairn will engage with schools and other educational/careers institutions in order to increase participation and highlight the exciting opportunities on offer in a construction career.
Commenting on the announcement, Julie Sinnamon, Non-Executive Director, Cairnsaid: “The decision to establish the Cairn Apprenticeship Academy is an important new strategic initiative for the company. Working closely with our supply chain partners and education providers we want to encourage and financially support new apprenticeships. We believe that this initiative will attract many new entrants to construction, leading to long and rewarding careers.”
Ms Sinnamon, former CEO, Enterprise Ireland, has been central in developing this initiative with Cairn’s management team.
Pictured above: Julie Sinnamon, Non-Executive Director, Cairn, Simon Harris, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science and Michael Stanley, Chief Executive Officer, Cairn.