Source: Tuam Herald
A total of 473 new homes were built to completion in Galway in the last 12months, but developers are warning that there is still some way to go before supply catches up with demand.
Glouthaune Property Developers (GPD) based in Cork: say addressing Ireland’s depleted construction workforce and planning to meet future growth are key to tackling the current housing crisis sufficiently.
Aaron Willis, General Manager of GPD says that while the volume of construction output has been rising steadily, the pace of building remains far too slow. “This increase is welcomed, but it does not make up for the fact that construction has decreased by over 50% overall in the last decade.,” he said.
“What is for sure is that the industry will rise to the challenge and we will ensure the increased volume will be met. However, we now need a sustained approach starting with the overhaul of procurement routes, coupled with a detailed understanding of Government’s plans for building in Ireland, so that the industry can plan ahead.” GPD say that the number of professional and tradespeople who left the construction industry and country when the recession hit has left the sector with a serious shortage of skilled labour, which has been further compounded by the limited apprentice programme being offered. There were 108, 720 people employed in Irish Construction sector in 2015, but less than 10 years before that figure stood at 281,800.
“Clearly something must be done about the fact that our building and construction workforce has been depleted by so much,” Mr Willis continued. “The recession hit, and people left the country. We must now entice them to come home. Also, during the downturn, a career in construction was seen as a risky if not futile move, so fewer young people entered the field. It is now incumbent upon us to present trades and other building related skills as attractive careers.”
With population numbers set to increase significantly in the next 20 years, GPD say prudent consideration is now needed as to how Ireland is going to meet this challenge, including a switch to more apartments and mixed-use developments within city boundaries.
Planning guidelines also need revising, as do height restrictions on new developments they say.