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Careers in Construction: Breaking Barriers and Building a Strong Workforce for the Future
Kelly Ohlmus

Careers in Construction: Breaking Barriers and Building a Strong Workforce for the Future

Irish Government has revealed plans to boost construction careers and promoting inclusivity. Discover the action plan and initiatives for reshaping perceptions and attracting diverse talent.

The Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation, and Science (DFHERIS) has revealed a plan to strengthen careers in the construction industry. Released on August 23, 2023, this comprehensive report examines the skills needed for residential construction and retrofitting from 2023 to 2030.


In Summary: Careers In Construction Action Plan

  • The report identifies the need for around 50,831 new workers by 2030 to meet the demands of key initiatives.
  • Barriers such as limited understanding, lack of exposure, and gender stereotypes are highlighted.
  • The action plan includes structural, promotional, and training/upskilling initiatives.
  • Collaboration is crucial to reshape perceptions, create inclusive opportunities, and achieve sustainability goals.
  • The construction industry aims to attract diverse talent, address gender imbalance, and contribute to national growth and development.


Recruiting and retaining workers is a crucial challenge for the construction sector. According to the report, around 50,831 new workers are required in various roles by 2030 to meet the demands of the Housing for All initiative and the National Retrofit Plan. Craft skills, in particular, pose a significant challenge due to a historical shortage of apprenticeships and the pandemic's impact on training.

The report highlights barriers hindering potential entrants. Perceptual barriers include a limited understanding of the industry's scope, which is often associated exclusively with on-site work. Structural barriers include insufficient exposure at the secondary education level, lack of representation, and gender stereotypes. Concerns about financial stability, career progression, and physical demands discourage potential candidates.

The action plan tackles these challenges through three categories of actions: structural, promotional, and training/upskilling. Initiatives include enhancing industry exposure in schools, challenging gender stereotypes, showcasing modern construction methods, and addressing retention issues.

The research findings of the report emphasise the need for industry-wide collaboration to reshape perceptions, create inclusive opportunities, and the industry's role in infrastructure investment and sustainability goals. Aligned with Housing for All and the National Development Plan, this initiative aims to attract a diverse talent pool and strengthen the construction sector's workforce for a prosperous future.

With significant government investment in infrastructure projects, career opportunities are set to flourish. The action plan ensures that these opportunities reach a wider demographic and that the construction industry grows sustainably. By implementing these initiatives, the sector aims to build a strong workforce, address the gender imbalance, and make substantial contributions to the nation's growth and development.

Read Government's Careers in Construction: Action Plan

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