– Initiative part of Sisk’s commitment to planting 1.7 million trees by 2030

Eddie Mongey, first year carpentry/joinery apprentice, John Sisk & Son, one of 11 new apprentices Sisk will hire this year plants trees at Manor Kilbride, Co. Wicklow as part of Sisk’s commitment to plant 1.7 million trees by 2030.

John Sisk & Son’s new cohort of carpentry and joinery apprentices has completed one of Sisk’s first tree planting exercises as part of its commitment to planting 1.7 million native woodland trees over the next nine years. Sisk’s new group of apprentices got stuck in to help plant the trees near Manor Kilbride in Co Wicklow.

Sisk restarts apprenticeship programme

Normal apprentice recruitment was briefly interrupted due to Covid-19, but Sisk will hire 11 apprentices this year. This continues the historic Sisk family tradition of hiring carpentry and joinery apprentices each year for its training centre on the Naas Road in Dublin.

Sisk 2030 Sustainability Roadmap

Working in conjunction with the Woodland Environment Fund and Forestry Service Ltd, over 46,000 trees were planted in Manor Kilbride, Co Wicklow, with an initial investment of €20,000. The tree planting forms one of the first steps for Sisk in line with its 2030 Sustainability Roadmap that outlines ambitious targets and actions aligned with UN Sustainable Development Goals. The planted saplings are primarily native broadleaf with pockets of native conifer (scots pine). This mix will provide greater habitat and species diversity over the years.

In 2019, the United Nations General Assembly declared 2021–2030 the “UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration”. Sisk has acknowledged this call to action and recognised the need for a massive acceleration in the global restoration of degraded and destroyed ecosystems and the positive impact this would have on the climate crisis, biodiversity, food security and water supply.

Wicklow farmer Martin O’Hara owns the land. By the planting of this native woodland Martin O’Hara has demonstrated his commitment to the sustainable management of forestry and native woodlands in Ireland. This will also support Ireland’s plan to tackle climate change by planting 440 million trees by 2040.

The planting was funded by the Department of Agriculture Food and Marine through an establishment grant and 15 annual premium payments.

 Sinéad Hickey, Head of Sustainability, Ireland & Europe, John Sisk & Son, said: “We are delighted to have partnered with Martin O’Hara and his family, Forestry Service Ltd and the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine in Manor Kilbride. We target to plant 1.7 million trees by 2029, which forms a part of our wider sustainability roadmap. This is an important first step in our journey are demonstrates our commitment to a range of sustainability topics our company and wider industry needs to address.”

Apprentice recruitment a long Sisk tradition

Ronan Murphy, Manager, Joinery and Training Centre, John Sisk & Son, said: “Our recruitment of apprentices is a historic Sisk family tradition. Covid-19 has presented many challenges in our training centre, but we have adapted to work within guidelines. Sisk’s investment in our apprentices is part of our strategy to give young people the opportunity to become our future foremen and site managers. Our model is tried and tested with many apprentices getting opportunities to work in Europe for Sisk.”

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