A major shift in Irish construction practices is urgently required to safeguard the sustainability of the sector into the future, according to Guaranteed Irish, the not-for-profit business membership organisation championing 500+ homegrown and international businesses in Ireland.
Guaranteed Irish recently hosted a roundtable discussion with members and other key decision-makers in the Irish construction, manufacturing, hardware and DIY sectors to identify sustainable solutions to Ireland’s current housing demand and how smaller building suppliers can play their part in this activity.
The talks also focused on the best way to promote skills, apprenticeships and careers within the Irish construction industry, and the best way to reward businesses that demonstrate a commitment to reducing Ireland’s carbon footprint.
A range of specific recommendations emerged from the event, including:
- An immediate audit of old housing stock and vacant derelict buildings and how these can be re-occupied, to be carried out by local authorities
- A reduction in red tape to incentivise small builders
- Greater investment in rapid house construction training for local authority staff
- A reduction in the timeframe of apprenticeships by one year – to attract greater numbers of apprentices and tradespeople to the construction sector
- Government to incentivise construction companies to recycle properly, thus reducing the volume of waste going into landfill, and lowering emissions
- Return national tree-planting targets to a minimum of 10,000 hectares per annum
Damien English TD, Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government, attended the round-table discussion, while panellists included Jim Gannon, CEO of Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, Conal Mac Coille, Chief Economist at Davy, Aoife Brennan, Director of Research at Lisney and Tom Parlon, Director General of the Construction Industry Federation.
The outcomes of the meeting have been developed into a submission paper for Government and Guaranteed Irish will now work with political representatives to explore the potential for collaboration in formulating solutions.
Read the position paper in full here: Guaranteed Irish Construction Position Paper 2018
To view a gallery of images from the roundtable discussion in September 2018, please click here.