“The construction industry faces challenges that no one saw coming”

When covid-19 restrictions were lifted for the construction industry in Ireland, many local employers saw it was time to try and recoup some of their losses that the pandemic had caused. However, this relief was short-lived.

The war in Ukraine, Brexit and NI protocol unrest, shortages of skilled and unskilled workers, and rising costs have created challenges for the construction industry in Inishowen that no one saw coming.

With this in mind, Skillnet Inishowen reached out to the largest employment sector on the peninsula and engaged with them on how best to help.

Following the popular INBusiness series, which featured RTE’s QS Claire Irwin in May, Skillnet Inishowen spoke to 85 Inishowen businesses about the issues facing their businesses.

As a result, over the next few months Skillnet will be offering a range of courses to help address the real day-to-day challenges faced by the construction industry.

These include SEAI-BER assessor training, online tendering, procurement and estimating.

Skillnet will also offer customs training courses, which will cover areas such as rules of origin as well as guidelines for trade with the UK and EU.

On-site health and safety courses will include training for both experienced and ‘new to site’ operators/workers and will include manual handling, safety, abrasive wheel and schematics.

To kick off the course programme, Skillnet will be inviting business owners/site managers to a workshop, Using Technology in the Industry for Quality Control and a Business Trading Workshop on Tuesday 19 next July at the Sliabh Sneacht Center in Drumfries from 6 p.m. until 8:30 p.m.

The keynote speaker for the evening is Philip Hurst, a Program Director with SEAI – Warmer Homes Program. Philip will discuss SEAI quality checks, project management and Near Zero Energy Buildings (NZEB). It will also provide information on the use of ICT for quality assurance and the registration of companies and contractors with SEAI.

The following day, Thursday July 20, Skillnet is hosting a foundational awareness program for near-zero energy buildings. This will go through the basics of insulation, thermal bridges, smart technology and ventilation.

Ana McColgan, director of Inishowen Skillnet, said she hopes their range of courses can help builders and workers working in the construction, manufacturing and engineering sectors in Inishowen.

“We have exceptional tradespeople in this region and by recognizing and affirming their skills and aligning them with accredited qualifications, we can then help them and local businesses focus on the next generation of people and work projects such as sustainability and ICT adoption” explained Ana.

“This is how we will strengthen and secure the future workforce and support local businesses in Inishowen working locally, nationally and internationally.”

Ana said their vision is to support and raise skill levels by ensuring the sustainability of local jobs and businesses.

“This training and development program has been identified as a critical need in the Northwest region,” Ana added.

“The main objective of this program is to use financial support available from local and national providers of training interventions to implement best practice models.”

To find out more about all the courses available, go to www.inishowenskillnet.com or email [email protected] to reserve your place now.

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