An introduction to the Construction Industry
The construction industry is one of the country’s largest employers, with 135,000 people currently directly employed throughout the country. In other words, one out of every ten Irish people within the workforce has a job in construction. In terms of output the construction sector is valued at over £10 billion annually and generates 20% of the country’s income. At present the industry completes about 40,000 housing units each year, along with an enormous variety of commercial, industrial, institutional and specialist buildings. The level of our trade in construction goods and services with other countries is well over £1.5 billion every year.
The success of this massive industry is based on people. The built environment is created by people, for people. Every project calls for special skills and a high level of teamwork. Construction workers are rewarded by a sense of a job well done, with a permanent monument to their efforts left behind for many years to come. From an employment point of view the industry offers a very high level of variety in terms of craft and operative jobs and accounts for a wide range of specialist skills. Every construction project is unique, because every day’s work varies and each project is in a different situation and at a different location.
There are always new challenges to be met in an industry which is constantly seeking greater precision, higher productivity, enhanced safety standards and improved efficiency. In the last 10 to 15 years the time required to complete many construction operations has been dramatically reduced. In short, this is an industry dedicated to solving new problems and reaching new horizons.
Under the new Standards-Based Apprenticeship Scheme, administered by FÁS, candidates must be recruited, employed and registered by an employer. To decide on a choice of trade, students should:
• Study careers information
• Talk to their guidance counsellor
• Work on projects relating to construction
• Visit/obtain work placement on sites
• Complete aptitude tests
• Select relevant subjects in school or college
• Obtain references
• Furnish Junior Certificate/Leaving Certificate/Applied Leaving Certificate results
• Prepare a one-page CV
• Apply to construction firms, companies operating quarries or other related businesses
• Contact or visit local construction sites
• Work on-site in the summer
• Check with FÁS about vacancies notified
• Complete FÁS pre-apprenticeship course
• Be persistent, because most construction companies are small and do not have personnel managers
• Look in recruitment sections of newspapers
Find out about the training required to become a craftsperson here.
Find out about the developing role of the Construction Operative here.
Click on the links below to find out about these construction careers:
To find out more about the Construction Industry Federation, click here.