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The construction industry in Ireland has undergone considerable change in the last decade, the effect of which has resulted in a legacy malfunction in the construction labour market. The recent construction downturn led to high levels of construction unemployment, resulting in the mass emigration of construction professionals. Additionally, perceptions of job uncertainty in construction deterred new entrants into construction-related training and education programmes such as Quantity Surveying. If a skills gap is allowed to prevail, then there is a tangible threat to the industry’s cost competitiveness. As such, value for money becomes merely theoretical, and the cost to the economy could be the loss of its much-valued foreign direct investment as the construction industry becomes unable to deliver for its clients. Although traditionally reserved for vocational skills, apprenticeship could provide an alternative method of training construction professionals, such as Quantity Surveyors, in a more expeditious manner. Consequently, this may serve as a possible mechanism to address the current disequilibrium in the construction labour market. Accordingly, the future Irish construction industry, by embracing diversity, may benefit from an improved delivery of personnel which is more resilient to the cyclical elasticity of the construction economy and thereby improve the talent pipeline.
Ó Murchadha, E. & Murphy, R. (2018). Quantity surveying professional apprenticeships: a paragon for the supply of talent in the Irish construction industry. RICS COBRA Conference 2018, 23-24 April 2018, London.