In an industry that is male dominant ,with less than 1 in 20 are female.This is now the time to see if the construction industry

can up the numbers  of female job seeking careers in the sector to help sustain the deamd in the market.

 Minister Harris hosts first annual Careers in Construction forum with focus on driving female participation

Minister calls on enterprise community to help shape Ireland’s skills agenda and join new National Skills Council

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD has today hosted an annual forum with experts in the construction sector aimed at boosting participation in the construction workforce.

The Construction Sector Skills Forum (CSSF) is hosted by the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science.

It is the first of what will be an annual event to raise awareness and share ideas across the construction sector to ensure Government reaches its targets under Housing for All.

Minister Harris said: “It is vital that the entire sector works together to increase the construction workforce.

“It is an essential to meeting the Housing for All targets set by the Government.

“We have made significant progress in the past three years. Craft apprenticeship registrations for 2022 and 2021 were in total 13,254, an increase of almost 40% over the preceding two years.

“While this year alone there has been 4,009 registrations on the 30 construction and construction-related programmes last month.

“But it is clear there is room for improvement especially when it comes to female participation.”

Minister Harris added: “I am glad to see the figures improve each year and that around 1 in 20 construction apprentices are now female, but it is still far too low when you consider there are more than 4,000 apprentices registered on construction programmes.


“The numbers are going in the right direction each year however, and I do believe that the roll out of modern methods of construction can fundamentally change how women perceive a career in the building industry and that over the coming years we will see the numbers increase.”

Stakeholders such as Skillnet Ireland, Construction Industry Federation, Laois-Offaly Education and Training Board, National Apprenticeship Office, SOLAS and Government officials will use the forum to network, collaborate, and to inform strategic developments for construction skills provision.

Today’s announcement underlines the importance of a creative partnership based approach to skills needs and policy development.

That is why Minister Harris today also encouraged representatives from the enterprise community to express their interest in joining a reformed National Skills Council (NSC).

The National Skills Council is being reformed following recommendations included in the OECD Skills Strategy Ireland Report so that a wider range of stakeholders can play a larger role in shaping Ireland’s skills strategy policies.

Minister Harris said: “This reform is timely and will align the National Skills Council fully with advancements in Ireland’s ambitious skills agenda.

“I want to respond to our shared skills challenges in partnership with enterprise. We are modernising how we view skills in Ireland; and putting skills at the centre of the political agenda so that we can ensure Ireland’s best asset continues to be our people.”

Minister Harris added: “In a world that is changing rapidly, and where skills needs are constantly evolving, Ireland’s social and economic prosperity is dependent like never before on our ability to adapt, and adapt quickly.

“The National Skills Council’s role in helping to shape, and reshape, Ireland’s skills policy priorities is vital to this end. But we cannot make, or embed, the far reaching policy changes we need to drive our success without our enterprise partners.

“That is why I am calling on the enterprise community to join new National Skills Council and ensure its voice is heard.”

Expressions of interest must be submitted online no later than 6pm on Friday, 24 November 2023 and can be accessed via this link;