Laser focus from Govt needed to address labour shortages in construction
24 October 2023
Labour leader and housing spokesperson Ivana Bacik has urged Minister O’Brien to detail his plan to address the chronic labour shortage in construction that is delaying the building of homes.
Deputy Bacik said:
“A failure to develop a coherent framework around apprentices, including a fair wage, has led us to a massive shortage in construction workers.
“This failure is compounding the housing disaster, as we know that there is a nationwide shortage of workers in the sector, from brick layers to general operatives, to engineers and plumbers.
“Pay is the core issue here. Construction companies continue to make huge profits from the housing crisis, yet rates for construction workers, particularly apprentices are not where they should be.
“Last year, there was a fall in the number of craft apprenticeship registrations and if the Government are to recruit the 50,831 construction workers they have identified as being needed over the next six years, 82% of whom will have to come from the trades, they will need to act fast.
"The shortage of construction labour is going to pose a growing constraint to building more homes in this country. Importing construction labour from abroad is no silver bullet and while we believe it will be necessary over the coming years, it is vital that it is not seen as a substitute for a sustained flow of construction skills developed here.”