Construction employment has grown strongly in recent years; most of the growth related to commercial sector activity. The skills mix in this sector is evolving with the increased use of off-site construction methods and other technology advances.

The government’s Climate Action Plan will increase demand for some occupations such as carpenters due to plans for significant retrofitting of homes. Future demand for skills will depend on a number of factors including the roll out of the Climate Action Plan and increased activity in both the residential and commercial sectors.

  • Overall employment: Approximately 141,900 persons (94% male) were employed in the selected construction occupations, representing 6.3% of the national workforce.

  • Sector: 69% of overall employment was concentrated in the construction sector.

  • Employment growth (5-year): Between 2013 and 2018, overall employment increased by 34,000 (5.6%) on average annually (compared to 3.1% nationally). The strongest rate of employment growth was observed for civil engineers, etc. (10.6%) during the period.

  • Age: The 25-54 age group accounted for the majority of persons employed, at 76%. The share of employees aged 55 and over was in line with the national average of 17%.

  • Education: The share of persons employed in the selected construction occupations who had attained higher secondary/FET qualifications was 46%, above the national average share of 37%. Those who had attained third level qualifications (27%) was well below the national average share (48%).

  • Full-time/part-time: Over 90% of construction workers were in full-time employment.

  • Nationality: The share of non-Irish workers was slightly below the national average of 16%, while 86% of workers were Irish nationals.

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