Additional 50,000 skilled workers needed to meet Government housing targets

Report recommends recruitment campaign to attract plumbers, carpenters, and bricklayers from Europe and beyond
Additional 50,000 skilled workers needed to meet Government housing targets

A new report estimates 50,830 workers must be recruited to build 33,000 new homes each year.  Picture: PA

More than 50,800 skilled workers will need to be recruited if the Government is to meet its targets for building new homes and retrofitting hundreds of thousands of existing stock, a major report has found.

The report for training agency Solas and the Department of Further and Higher Education estimates that 50,830 workers will have to be recruited to build 33,000 new homes each year through to the end of 2030, and to retrofit 446,300 houses, while maintaining the existing housing stock over the same period.

The report sets out in detail the number of professional workers, craft and tradespeople, and operatives the industry will need to employ. 

It also recommends a recruitment campaign to attract plumbers, carpenters, and bricklayers from Europe and beyond, to benefit from the departure of Britain from the EU.

“The publication of this report is a high priority action under the revised ‘Housing for All’ plan to help tackle the housing crisis, by ensuring we have the skills demands to meet our housing and domestic retrofit targets,” according to the report.

Construction staff

Further Education Minister Simon Harris said the report will be a key in helping to identify the number of skilled construction staff needed to 2030.

The Government has frequently been warned it needs to boost construction employment if it is to address the huge shortfalls in housing supply.

House prices and rents have continued to climb as the supply of new homes has fallen short of the 35,000 new units that many experts believe will be needed each year over multiple years to start meeting the demand of a growing population.

The fallout from the Covid pandemic in recent years has slowed output, while soaring costs of building materials amid the global inflation crisis have added to the challenges this year.

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