EGFSN warns of skills gap over coming 10 years

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Government report welcomed by ministers

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1 October 2020 | 0

The Expert Group on Future Skills Needs (EGFSN) have launched a report on future skills needs in the built environment sector.

The government advisory report, entitled Building Future Skills: The Demand for Skills within Ireland’s Built Environment Sector to 2030, identified the skills needed to deliver on housing, infrastructure, climate change and broader economic development over the next 10 years.

Notwithstanding the impact of Covid-19, the report highlighted how the build environment sector will face consistent demands for its services and pool of skills over the next decade to deliver on these priorities.

 

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The study identified the potential demand for skills within construction, architecture, engineering and utilities.

Nine overarching recommendations were outlined in the report, to ensure the sector can deliver on impending demand.

From a skills perspective, it identified the need for the sector to address issues around its attractiveness to new entrants, especially women; structural gaps within the workforce arising from the 2008-10 downturn; and the need to embed skills associated with technological change, as well as retrofitting and building energy efficiency, across the sector’s workforce.

It also estimated that employment levels within the built environment sector (205,400 in late 2019) should be sustainable over the next decade. By 2030, it said the sector is forecast to account for 7.5% of the total labour force (202,943).

The report was welcomed by Minister for Further & Higher Education, Research, Innovation & Skills, Simon Harris; and Minister of State for Business, Employment &Retail Damien English.

“The National Skills Council, which falls under the remit of my department, is tasked with prioritising skills needs related to strategic national challenges and securing their delivery through the education and training system,” said Minister Harris. “Drawing on the findings of this report, the council, my department, and the wider education and training system will do all it can to deliver on the skills needs identified across construction, engineering and architectural activities.”

“The research highlights key drivers of the sector’s skills, talent and entrepreneurial needs over the coming years, such as technological adoption, enhanced productivity and the transition to a low carbon economy – the adaptation to which have been identified by the government as critical to the ongoing competitiveness and future proofing of Ireland’s economy,” said Minister English. “Officials from my department will now engage with the stakeholders identified in the report to progress the EGFSN’s recommendations and optimise the built environment’s contribution to Ireland’s competitiveness and broader societal needs over the next decade.”

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