The mobile unit will travel to construction sites and schools across the country to allow people avail of the courses wherever they are.
Attending the official launch at Coláiste Cois Life in Lucan, Minister Simon Harris said, “to date, this year over 1,500 people have availed of training in retrofitting. However, it is really important we continue to adapt models of delivery to ensure it is easy as possible to get the training. The development of this Mobile NZEB Training Unit is an important and exciting advancement for our construction skills and training offering. The Unit can be brought to construction sites and schools around the country, such as Coláiste Cois Life, which will greatly increase accessibility to the courses on offer. The Unit is powered by solar PV panels and includes a working heat pump and ventilation system, making it entirely self-sufficient and showcasing excellent technologies.”
Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications Eamon Ryan said, “we have seen strong growth in the delivery of home retrofits over the last 18 months, meeting and indeed, breaking, our set targets so far, with a strong pipeline of work into the future. Increasing the number of workers with retrofit skills will be critical to building on this momentum so I very much welcome today’s announcement.”
Joe Cunningham, Chief Executive of Laois Offaly ETB, added, “the National Construction Training Campus, Mount Lucas and LOETB are delighted to officially launch the mobile NZEB and Retrofit training unit. The unit will mean greater accessibility to upskilling opportunities for workers in construction, supporting the sector to meet its Housing and Sustainability targets. The unit will also promote future careers in construction, introducing Senior Cycle students to the Modern Methods of Construction.”
Minister Harris also launched the Careers in Construction Action Plan, a deliverable under the revised Housing for All plan.
Minister Harris said, “the research underpinning the Careers in Construction Action Plan has identified the key barriers to careers in the sector. We have developed actions with the aim of minimising these barriers and promoting career opportunities. These actions involved fundamental changes to our education sector’s skills offering, and include steps to tackling the gender bias in the sector.”
“Careers in construction are so varied now, involving everything from off-site manufacturing, planning and design, to all of the on-site roles. There really is something for everyone and I would urge people to take fresh look at these opportunities. This event highlights the important contribution that my department is making towards meeting the skills needs to deliver on Housing for All targets.”
John O’Shaughnessy, Chair CIF Education, Training & Skills Committee added, “CIF is pleased to be part of the Working Group for the promotion of Careers in Construction and welcomes the 20 action points outlined in the report being launched. There is no doubt that we have a challenge to attract young people to the sector but as a group we are up for that challenge. We know the construction sector offers super careers to young people. The big issues that impact on society, such as housing, climate change, infrastructure deficit will be solved by those working in this sector. We need to promote the opportunities that exist, and this action plan set a roadmap for achieving our goals.”
The Working Group which worked to develop the Action Plan comprised government departments and agencies, professional representative bodies and industry representative partners.