In the aftermath of the Brexit, one of the recurring questions we at Elk Recruitment continue to receive is how the construction sector will be affected. Conflicting reports regularly appear in the media, and for graduates, job seekers and those still studying construction-related subjects, the sector seems to be in a state of flux. Looking at recent job announcements and projections; however, Elk Recruitment has every reason to be optimistic about the construction sector going forward. This growth extends to every aspect of the building industry including, façade and fenestration alongside new, ambitious build announcements worldwide.
Apprentice Figures Fall
Applying this optimism to Ireland, a recent study by DKM economic consultants predicted that over 76’000 additional construction workers will be needed over the next four years. As we have written about in a previous Blog, the level of apprentices has reduced drastically over the last decade, so a new strategy will be needed to find new workers. In 2007 there were over 20’000 construction apprentices, whereas today that figure is below 5’000. A venture by the UK’s National Construction College is finding a novel way to tackle this problem. They have taken 84 second year undergraduate students and challenged them to manage and build physical construction projects and complete company assignments within a designated time-frame. This practical approach allowed students to understand the challenges of working within both a planning and physical environment. Students were taught in everything from health and safety to working with power tools and even trucks, excavators and cranes. Utilising a similar approach may attract more Irish apprentices to the construction sector.
On a daily basis, construction projects continue to be announced, such as Ireland’s fourth largest hotel adjacent to Terminal 2 at Dublin Airport. This project will employ 150 construction workers until the hotel’s opening date in 2019. Accompanying this news was the prediction by The Irish Tourist Industry Confederation that an extra 5000 hotel bedrooms would be needed in Dublin alone by the year 2020. At Elk Recruitment, even after the Brexit, we can only foresee continual growth for the construction sector.