Government to research skill-sets needed to move toward offsite construction
The Government is to research the skills required to transform Ireland’s construction sector – including skills needed in offsite manufacturing – as part of its plan to build more homes.
According to documents submitted on the government e-tender website, the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment is commissioning the research.
The documents note the Government’s Housing for All strategy plan to 2030, including its calls for “a culture of good-quality sustainable innovation in residential construction through the development of modern methods of construction (MMC).”
MMC is a term used to describe a range of offsite manufacturing processes and onsite techniques that provide alternatives to traditional construction methods.
Typical MMC systems include timber frame, steel frame, and precast concrete. These systems are viewed as having the potential to transform the construction sector's productivity and reduce the time taken to build housing.
In the documents, the Department of Enterprise said Laois and Offaly Education and Training Board (LOETB) are leading on delivering a national demonstration park for MMC.
It said the park would provide an “accessible flagship location” for MMC demonstration in Ireland and facilitate showcasing MMC products and systems, especially in the housing sector.
The study the Department of Enterprise is looking to carry out seeks to identify and quantify the scale of the skills needed by enterprises to support the move to MMC in the coming decade.
It also hopes to develop a suite of recommendations to ensure stakeholders fully address the forecasted MMC skills needed through the education and training system.
The document added it is estimated that Ireland will need an average of 33,000 new homes to be provided each year from 2021 to 2030.