Blog: Why GI and CIF have partnered to develop the Irish construction industry

Tom Parlon, CIF

As part of GI Construction Month, Tom Parlon, Director General of Construction Industry Federation (CIF), speaks about the partnership between GI and CIF with the joint aim of developing the Irish construction industry in a sustainable way.

This month, we were delighted to partner with Guaranteed Irish for GI Construction Month. GI and CIF have a shared interest in seeing strong construction sector domestically and internationally. I am always struck by the number of top-class Irish companies we have competing globally operating out of this country. Right now, Irish pre-cast companies are building the reservoirs and bridges of the UK and Canada.  Our engineering firms are operating on every continent and are sought after by global corporations to build specialist modern manufacturing plant. Around the world, Irish construction companies are building the new economy and shaping societies.

And at home, construction companies are contributing in two ways that no other industry can. In every community in Ireland, our construction companies are building the essential housing and infrastructure, or indeed billion euro data centres, that drive local economies. And we are providing over 140,000 jobs to local people who in turn are contributing to their communities in many ways.  

So this industry is embedded in the social and economic fabric of Irish life. So teaming up with GI makes complete sense.

GI have long sought to help companies that contribute to Irish society to make an even bigger positive impact. I believe that we can grow more Irish construction companies of scale who can continue to service Ireland but also carve out niches in the global construction market that we estimate will grow by 85% to $15 trillion by 2030.   

This type of ambition and global success starts at home. GI and the CIF will in the coming years work tirelessly to ensure the domestic economy supports ambitious construction companies who want to grow in a sustainable and smart way. This will involve making sure our domestic cost base isn’t an anchor on growth. It will also mean getting coordinated support between the Government and industry to set out a real vision of how this industry can become globally recognised. I am heartened that Enterprise Ireland is also involved with GI and other state agencies should be focussed on supporting export-led growth in construction. 

Finally, Ireland’s built environment over the next decade should become a story in a global marketing initiative to highlight this island’s construction competence. We must get this phase of construction correct and support sustainable, smart construction. That will involve a huge and coordinated effort between industry and Government. GI and CIF have a major role to play in this. I look forward to working with GI in the future in constructing Ireland.

The Construction Industry Federation is holding its annual conference on October 12th in Croke Park, visit here for more information.