The last 10 years have seen a stagnation of the Irish domestic construction industry. As the industry begins to recover, Ireland is now short over 100,000 workers.
The Construction Industry Federation has launched a promotion campaign to lure the Irish expatriate community back to Ireland to fuel new growth.
After the financial crisis of 2008-2010, many unemployed skilled workers headed to more fruitful pastures in Australia or other countries within the UK. The campaign is aimed at filling growing shortages in Dublin and beyond. There is a lack of housing in many locations, with demand outstripping supply. This has resulted in a rise in the number of homeless and a distinct price bubble in Dublin. The resulting climb of housing and rental prices have prompted local councils to introduce rent controls to maintain housing affordability.
As construction picks up around the country, the figures are looking good. Although 12,000 houses will be built in the coming 12 months, there is demand for another 20,000. The lack of skilled labour is holding back the recovery of the entire Irish economy. Foreign investment is increasing but is hamstrung by the lack of workers.
To put this in perspective, prior to the bust of 2008, construction was contributing to an impressive 23% of Ireland’s economy. This proved to be unsustainable over the previous average of 14% of GDP. Today in the first stirrings of the recovery, construction contributes a mere 7-8%.