The Careers in Construction Action Plan initiative will attempt to revitalise the construction sector by addressing key recruitment challenges and fostering employment growth.
Careers in Construction
The government’s ‘Careers in Construction Action Plan’ is a comprehensive strategy designed to boost employment in the construction sector. It sets out a series of actions to minimise barriers, promote career opportunities and make construction jobs more attractive to women.
The steps include reforms in training and education, more flexible working arrangements and promotional campaigns.
The action plan recognises the need for the construction industry to attract and retain a larger and broader workforce. This is essential for meeting the growing demand for construction projects. Insufficient recruitment, education, apprenticeships and retention levels have been identified as issues that need to be addressed.
Reforming education and training
One of the core aspects of the plan is reforming the education and training systems in place for people pursuing careers in construction. This may involve updating curricula, expanding vocational training programmes and ensuring that students have access to the skills and knowledge needed for a successful career in construction.
The plan acknowledges the importance of flexible working arrangements. The construction industry often involves physically demanding work, so offering flexibility can make it more appealing. This is significant in attracting a diverse workforce.
Changing perceptions of construction
To make construction jobs more attractive and appealing to a broader range of people, the action plan includes promotional campaigns to showcase diverse career opportunities within the sector and highlight the benefits of working in the industry.
Diversity and inclusion
The plan emphasises the importance of diversity and inclusion, particularly with regard to making construction careers more accessible to women. Encouraging gender diversity in the industry can help address labour shortages and bring fresh perspectives to the sector.
The plan aims to minimise barriers that may discourage individuals from pursuing careers in construction. These barriers could include stereotypes, lack of information about career prospects, or misconceptions about the industry.
Successful implementation of the action plan will require collaboration between government bodies, educational institutions, industry stakeholders, and community organisations. This cooperation would help ensure the proposed reforms and initiatives are effectively implemented.
Speaking at the plan’s launch, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris said, “These actions involve fundamental changes to our education sector’s skills offering and include steps to tackle gender bias in the sector. Careers in construction are so varied now, involving everything from off-site manufacturing, planning and design to all of the on-site roles.”
Mobile retrofit training unit launched
The government has also launched a new mobile retrofit training unit.
Laois Offaly Education and Training Board and the National Construction Training Campus at Mount Lucas have developed the Mobile Nearly Zero Energy Building (NZEB) Training Unit. It will travel to construction sites and schools across the country to allow people to avail of construction training courses. Minister Harris commented, “To date, this year, over 1,500 people have availed of training in retrofitting. However, it is really important we continue to adapt models of delivery to ensure it is as easy as possible to get the training.
“The development of this mobile NZEB training rig is an important and exciting advancement for our construction skills and training offering. The rig can be brought to construction sites and schools around the country, which will greatly increase accessibility to the courses on offer.
“The rig is powered by solar PV panels and includes a working heat pump and ventilation system, making it entirely self-sufficient and showcasing excellent technologies,” Minister Harris concluded.
The mobile unit is designed to provide upskilling opportunities for workers in construction and to promote future