Irish construction boom prompts pleas for expat workers to return home

Published:  2 Feb at 6 PM
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Following its forecast of a building boom between now and 2020, the Irish Construction Industry Federation (CIF) is urging expat construction workers to return.

During the 2008 financial crash, Ireland saw a mass migration of teachers, medical staff and construction workers seeking new jobs, new lives and higher wages in destinations across the world. New Zealand was a favourite for construction professionals, especially during the still-ongoing rebuild of Christchurch after the devastating earthquake in 2011.

The CIF’s estimation of an explosion in construction over the next three years needs 31,000 carpenters and joiners, 12,000 plumbers, 28,000 general labourers, and 14,000 plasterers. Its new website is aimed directly at the diaspora in an attempt to fill all of the jobs available.
At the present time, Ireland’s unemployment figures have fallen to 7.1 per cent, resulting in a vastly reduced pool of job-seekers within the construction industry. Employers in the sector have already begun to target workers who fled the country during the economic crash, and are registering their needs on the CIF’s website.

According to the CEO of one construction company, since the worst period for the industry in 2013 the sector has gradually pulled itself out of the slump and returned to expansion late in 2016. Long-term growth is now forecast, leading to the appeal for expat workers to come home. After the Irish economy tanked, the industry lost around 170,000 workers, the majority of whom left for jobs elsewhere in the world.

It’s now crying out for experienced construction workers, with employers tempting Irish nationals working overseas with offers of secure, high-quality jobs paying a decent wage. Job uptake across the board in Ireland is accelerating month by month, with a total of 29,800 unemployed workers finding jobs during 2016. In contrast to the desperate state of the Emerald Isle following the economic crash, such a solid increase is being considered as little short of a very welcome miracle.

Source: Irish Examiner
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