“The work placement gives the trainee steel fixers an opportunity to show the
skills they have learned”

A steel fixing course at Ballyfermot College has helped 40 young people develop the skills to start careers in the construction industry.
A 12-week steel fixing course, which has been run for the past two years at Ballyfermot CDETB College, is helping to meet the needs of the CIF member companies for semi-skilled operatives with steel-fixing skills.
Over 30 young people, who were previously unemployed, have completed a Steel Fixing course at Ballyfermot CDETB College and are now in full-time employment with CIF-member companies.
Another group of steel fixers are working on a part-time basis in the Sector and are ready to work on a full-time basis when the opportunity arises.
Dermot Carey, Director of Safety & Training, CIF, says that the course resulted from the identification of a growing need amongst CIF members for skilled steel fixers. “Workers with steel fixing skills have become an essential element of the workforce on the vast majority of construction sites in Ireland,” explains Dermot Carey. “In 2016, the CIF Manpower, Education and Training sub- Committee set about addressing a growing need amongst members for semi-skilled workers with steel-fixing skills. We met with Solas and the Education Training Boards and worked with them to develop a course that would bring new workers with steel fixing skills into the Sector.”
Mike Turner, Ballyfermot College Steel Fixing Course Supervisor, devised the programme for the course. The programme consists of a 12-week course, comprising eight weeks of in-class training at Ballyfermot Training Centre, with a four-week on-site placement with a CIF member company. This placement is designed to transition the trainee steel fixer to full-time work.
“The on-site placement is very important. Our goal is not only to give the participant appropriate on-site experience,” says Mike Turner, “but, to work with them and the hosting company to help them move to full-time employment.”
This approach has proven very successful for the Trainee Steel Fixers and companies participating in the programme. Today, over 30 are working in full-time jobs as steel fixers and have the opportunity to expand their skillset and develop careers in Construction.”
Mike Turner says he is delighted with the success of the programme and would like to bring more CIF members on-board.
“The work placement gives the student an opportunity to show the skills they have learned and gives employers an opportunity to assess those skills.
“If there are CIF members interested in providing placements, I would suggest the ideal time to contact us is just before or at the start of a new project. I would be happy to meet with member companies and bring them through the process.” Ballyfermot Training Centre recently took in the latest group of steel fixing trainees. The Training Centre also runs a Formwork course that operates on a similar basis.
To learn more about providing placement opportunities to steel fixing students, email Mike Turner at
mike.turner@btc.cdetb.ieor phone 01 605 5900/089 2093303.

Careers in Construction