CIF calls for increased investment in skills and infrastructure

The Construction Industry Federation (CIF) has called for more investment in skills and infrastructure in the sector, so that the projects outlined by the Government in today’s Dublin Regional Action Plan for Jobs announcement, can be realised.

The construction industry has the potential to be a key partner for Government in their aim to deliver 10-15% employment growth in the capital over the coming years, if the right policy framework is put in place that enables growth and output in the industry.

 Attending the Government’s announcement today, Hubert Fitzpatrick, Director of Housing, Planning and Development, welcomed the particular acknowledgement by Government of the construction sector’s expertise in the domestic built environment, which has in turn provided a strong basis for international expansion of construction activities.

 He stated: “The Action Plan acknowledges that the construction sector is critical to the competitiveness factor underpinning enterprise investment and growth within the economy. The plan clearly sets out the requirements for continuous investment in infrastructure projects, including, the DART underground, the Metro Link, the Dublin airport rail link, as well as continued investment in education, healthcare, and housing.  Investments such as these are essential to our ability to attract and retain top-level FDI companies to our shores. However, the skills shortage emerging in construction will be a factor that requires immediate attention to ensure the right resources are in place to get these projects off the ground.

 “During the implementation phase of the Action Plan for Jobs, continued interaction with the construction industry will be critical in supporting the Department of Jobs to identify critical issues arising within the construction sector which can assist in the delivery of the Action Plan’s objectives.”

According to the Government the levels of employment growth actually achieved will depend on factors including the level of support and collaboration within the local community for the plan, and the level of collaboration between organisations in the region and the main Government bodies involved in the plan. It believes that based on all the evidence and the strong buy-in for the process up to this point it is realistic to target 66,000 additional jobs in the region by 2020.

The Tánaiste, Joan Burton TD said: “As our capital city, Dublin has a key role to play in driving Ireland’s economic growth. It has a dynamic energy and diversity that has enabled it to punch above its weight in an international context. Yet we know that the region faces its own challenges. So it’s essential that we respond to those challenges in a way that continues  to drive up employment and opportunities across the Dublin region – and that’s precisely what this plan will do.”

Minister Bruton added: “Jobs are growing right across the country, but they are growing faster in some regions than in others. That is why we have put in place the €250million regional jobs strategy, to support regions to play to their strengths and accelerate jobs growth in every area.

“Dublin as the capital city and only city over 1 million population is a real driver of economic growth for Ireland. Getting the jobs market right in Dublin is crucial to our overall economic health as a country. The city suffered badly during the crash, with 90,000 jobs lost, but we have made up major ground since we launched our Action Plan for Jobs, with 64,000 extra jobs created and around half of that growth coming in the exporting companies which my Department supports.

“This growth won’t automatically continue, and with the wrong policies we could easily slip backwards. That is why we are putting in place this plan – to make the changes to support start-ups, increase multinational investment, target growing sectors of the future and promote Dublin internationally and ultimately create the jobs that we need.

“I am convinced that with the right support from Government through the Dublin Plan, we can keep the recovery going and create jobs right across the capital. In this way we can deliver 66,000 extra jobs over the coming years which will allow us to surpass the peak levels of employment seen during the boom, but this time on a sustainable basis – putting money back into communities and lives back on track right across the city.”

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