A new report from the Construction Industry Federation (CIF) shows that 10,600 extra workers joined the construction workforce in 2018, up 8% year on year and bringing the total workforce to 145,500.

Construction Investment

There was a 20% increase in investment in building and construction in 2018, with €26 billion invested during the year.

The report shows that housing investment increased by 24% in 2018, with 18,072 new housing units completed, an increase of 25% on 2017 and 22,467 new housing units commenced construction in 2018, which is an increase of 28% year on year.

Cost of Construction

The report shows the cost of construction rose by 7.7% in 2018 and is forecast to rise by 6.5% 2019.

The CIF report indicates that these increases are being caused by the high demand for construction services, skill shortages in the sector and wage increases.

Working Permit Changes

To combat these increases and the current skills shortage in the industry, CIF has engaged with the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation to make amendments to the Critical Skills Occupations List.

These changes will mean non-EEA nationals will be able to apply for a Critical Skills Employment Permit from April 22, 2019 if they are a civil engineer, quantity surveyor, construction project manager or a mechanical/electrical engineer with BIM experience. 

A number of occupations will also be removed from the Ineligible Occupations List and will now be eligible for a General Employment Permit including sheet metal workers, crane drivers, plasterers, bricklayers, pipefitters and welders.