Irish Skills Shortage – Sector Under Pressure


Ireland Construction Industry is facing a skills shortage

MMD (Mitchel Mcdermott) recently released a report highlighting some serious challenges the Irish construction industry are facing. It says construction output grew by 12% last year, but the number of workers only grew by 4%. This is a very real challenge, for anyone doing business in the sector, without the people to build the houses, offices and hospitals we aren’t going to get very far and critical targets won’t be met.

As Sherlock is a specialised staffing and recruitment organisation we are acutely aware of the potential threat the skills shortage brings both to us and to our clients. This is something that we tackled in an earlier post last year. It’s only January and already we are getting calls that projects are being delayed due to staff or missing critical skills. This is a worrying trend that doesn’t show any signs of abating.
Paul Mitchell, one of the authors of the report, predicted output would increase by a further 10% this year to over €25bn.  “Output is outstripping our already constrained supply chain, and this is a worrying trend going forward. In fact, demand is at levels of constraint similar to the Celtic Tiger, especially in Dublin,” he said.

The implications of a skills shortages will be to rapidly push the cost of builds up. The study suggested that an office building costing €20 million to build in 2015 would cost €25 million at the beginning of 2020, an increase of 26 per cent. Mitchell went on to say “Given the constraints in the sector, the key question is who will build these units? We estimate up to 30,000 additional workers would be required to reach that level of output,” he said. This was reinforced further by The CIF who believes the sector will require 100,000 more workers in the coming years.

These are very real industry challenges and is exactly the space that Sherlock operates in, on a daily basis. Work with the leading Tier 1 contractors and engineers across the country and Europe on some the of the biggest builds in the country, the cost of delays is paramount to all our clients big or small. One of the primary reason’s people use our service is due to our focused skills set and national reach. We have developed a network of over 40 000 skilled tradesmen, operatives and support staff across all sectors of the construction industry. If you are planning any builds over the coming years you want to speak to Sherlock. Not only will we be able to provide you with the right staff at the right time, but we will work with you to manage your staffing costs and will reduce all the stress involved in staff management to a single weekly invoice.

Working with an organisation like Sherlock that is as established in the sector as Sherlock means you have a viable resource to control costs, to mitigate risk exposure and ensure that you have the skills and staff that you need to keep your projects on track.

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