The level of new apprentice registrations must rise from 1,700 to 4,000 by 2020 to deliver housing and infrastructure requirements, according to the Construction Industry Federation (CIF ).
Construction employment could rise to 213,000 by 2020 based on DKM and SOLAS analysis. However, the CIF says Ireland’s economic recovery may be hampered by a potential skills shortage within the construction sector, if more is not done to attract people into and to develop those already in the industry.
In 2016, the CIF launched an innovative, ‘Shared Apprenticeship Scheme’ in conjunction with SOLAS, which allowed a number of member companies to take on apprentices as part of a consortium.
The scheme gave participating companies the ability to share apprentices with other members if the pace of work lessened, providing consistent training and work experience for the apprentices involved.
Four companies took part in the pilot scheme: Clancy Construction, Cleary-Doyle Construction, Anthony Neville Homes, and Mythen Construction, taking on four apprentices between them.
CIF director of safety and training, Dermot Carey, said: “Thanks to the recovery in the economy, the companies involved have not needed to share their apprentices, but nonetheless that safety net was there for these companies and it gave them the confidence to take on these apprentices once again.
“One of the companies had never taken on an apprentice before and they found it so beneficial that they started taking on apprentices in their own right also. The scheme is currently being rolled out across Ireland and while it is not going to be the only solution to the low numbers of apprentices that we are experiencing, it will certainly be part of the solution.”