30 May

Construction industry, a ticking time bomb

The current skills crisis within the construction industry could be exacerbated even further, unless more work is put into developing talent pipelines. A joint construction survey by the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI) and PwC, which included 248 participants representing all sectors of the construction sector including building surveyors, project managers and quantity surveyors including 35 property developers across the country, highlighted that the skills gap is an acute issue in the construction industry. Nearly three-quarters (73%) confirmed that they experienced difficulties recruiting individuals with specific skills in 2016. 

Particular skills shortages are in the areas of professionals such as project managers, quantity surveyors and engineers, as well as skilled craft workers such as plumbers and plasterers.

At the same time, nearly two-thirds (63%) of respondents said they still plan to expand their workforce in the year ahead. Top challenges to filling available posts are lack of available workers due to emigration, unrealistically high remuneration expectations and a lack of skilled subcontractors. 

Respondents to the survey (90%) indicate that they expect output in the residential sector to increase in the next 12 months with 87% of respondents expecting increases in activity for social housing in 2017. Given the acute housing shortage in the country, the anticipated increase in residential construction and the recent announcement on the release of local authority land for housing, is hugely positive and welcomed. 


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