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This month’s cover features (l-r) Joseph Moran, an apprentice with Jones Engineering, Aoibhin Gaynor, a graduate engineer, also with Jones Engineering and Joe Cardiff, an apprentice with The Designer Group. Photography by Conor McCabe on 18th March 2015

he lifeblood of any industry is young people coming through to take up jobs they hope will be a career for life. This process was suddenly halted when, as has been well documented in the past, Irish school leavers became wary of entering the construction sector after such a devastating collapse. Thankfully, that attitude has changed and we’re now in a situation where construction is viewed as an attractive option for young people looking to build a career. This month’s issue of Construction talks to young apprentices and graduates about life in the construction sector. It’s a fascinating insight into what it takes to be successful, the opportunities available and the sense of achievement they feel working on various projects.

We’re delighted to be sending a copy of the magazine to every career guidance councillor in the country so they can read about the reality of life “on the ground” for students who choose construction. At the other end of the age spectrum, construction workers who felt the full force of the economic downturn have endured a tough five years. It’s pleasing therefore to publish details (page 5) in this issue of the Department of Social Protection’s campaign to help the long-term unemployed in the sector. Run in conjunction with the CIF, the campaign will connect jobseekers with construction companies and hopefully will go a long way to reducing the number of construction workers on the Live Register. C


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“I’m delighted to announce this new, unique insurance package – which is exclusively available to CIF members – and replaces our previous arrangements of Contractors Cover. It is tailor made to suit the requirements of those operating in the construction industry and we believe it will be of strong interest to our members.” Tom Parlon, CIF Director General

Range of products available include: Combined Liability – Bespoke policy wordings, with Lloyds Insurers Contractors All Risks Construction Plant and Machinery Insurance New Plant/Machinery insurance agreement with Fingal Insurance Group Ltd (underwritten by Aviva) to provide discounted rates to CIF members. Please note cover includes each or all of the following: 1) Third Party R.T.A. cover 2) Accidental Damage 3) Inspection for all construction Plant/Machinery.

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CIF NEWS New campaign launched to help construction unemployed An Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton TD with CIF President Michael Stone (left) and Director General Tom Parlon at the launch of the new campaign aimed at helping unemployed construction workers regain employment in the sector. The launch was held at the John Paul construction site at the National Gallery, Merrion Square, Dublin 2, 1st April 2015.


new campaign aimed at helping unemployed construction workers regain employment in the sector has been jointly launched by the Department of Social Protection and the CIF. The campaign aims to raise awareness throughout the construction industry about the many Department of Social Protection services being provided to businesses to support their employment needs, and to connect them with the many talented and experienced workers who are currently seeking employment. Writing exclusively in this issue of Construction (see page 6) An Tanaiste and Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton, says the new measures “seeks to ensure that as many newly created jobs as possible go to people on the Live Register”. Former construction workers continue to make up the largest segment of unemployed people in Ireland. At present there are over 80,000 jobseekers whose last occupation is

recorded as being in a construction or related occupation on the Live Register. The campaign will see extensive information about the employment services provided by the Department communicated to construction companies and contractors throughout Ireland. The aim is to ensure employers throughout the construction industry are aware of the many programmes available to assist them when hiring new employees. These include: • JobsPlus • Jobs Ireland Recruitment Service • Job Bridge • EmployAbility Service   All of the services provided are available at no cost to employers.    CIF Director General Tom Parlon outlined the CIF’s involvement in the campaign. “Unfortunately there continues to be far too many former construction workers on the Live Register,” he said.  “Some of these people have been out

of work for several years, given the severe difficulties the industry went through. Now that our sector is starting to recover, we want to help do something about this problem and to help some of these people secure jobs. “The CIF is delighted to be working with the Department of Social Protection to help highlight the many different services and schemes that are available to construction businesses who wish to hire from the ranks of the unemployed. The CIF has a strong reach throughout the industry and we will be making that available to help generate greater awareness of the services provided by the Department.” The campaign will see materials provided by the Department of Social Protection on their many employment supports communicated by the CIF through briefings, mailings, leaflets, videos, blogs, social media, a dedicated section being established on the CIF website and other channels.

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“We can connect employers with skilled workers. But we can also do much more than that” AS IRELAND ENJOYS THE SPRING, WE ARE WITNESSING AN ECONOMIC SPRING TOO, WRITES TÁNAISTE AND MINISTER FOR SOCIAL PROTECTION JOAN BURTON, TD. Students are being recruited straight out of college, including hundreds hired at the recent Career Zoo in Dublin. A few weeks ago, I met the first of 300 new apprentices being recruited by the ESB - the next generation of talented craftsmen – and women – powering the company that powers our country. We are building the economic recovery, and with it the new jobs and opportunities for our people. Over 90,000 new jobs have been created since the Government launched our twin employment strategies – Pathways to Work and the Action Plan for Jobs – and 40,000 more are on the way this year. So we are making real progress. But we also have a significant way to go. And absolutely central to our recovery will be a thriving construction sector. This is essential, because no sector saw the stark realities of the crash more clearly than construction. A lot of firms went out of business. More hung on by the skin of their teeth. And 80,000 construction workers lost their jobs, creating massive fear and uncertainty for themselves and their families. Restoring the sector to health will create a virtuous circle, whereby construction companies get the finance they need to build, construction workers are re-employed, and they build the homes that families need. Both my Department and the Government at large are working hard with the Construction Industry Federation to make that a reality. A key step in this process is ensuring industry employers are fully aware of the supports available from Government. To that end, the Department and the Federation are embarking on a major initiative to increase awareness of these supports. Pathways to Work, overseen by my Department, seeks to ensure that as many newly created jobs as possible go to people on the Live Register. Through Pathways, we have implemented a range of supports, schemes and initiatives to assist both employers and jobseekers – many of which can be of huge benefit to the construction sector. We provide supports such as JobsPlus, JobsIreland and the services of the Department’s dedicated Employer Engagement Teams throughout the country to assist all companies, irrespective of whether they employ three or 300 people. Going through some of the supports in turn, it may be useful to start with the issue of job-readiness. The Department’s Intreo service works closely with jobseekers to ensure that they have the skills they need to avail of opportunities when they arise. Whether that is ensuring that they undertake relevant up-skilling programmes or renew their Safe Pass certification or licences, we endeavour to reflect the requirements of industry to ensure that our

jobseekers are ready to maximise their chances of securing employment. Our staff also stand ready to assist employers, and I would encourage any employer to contact a member of our dedicated Employer Engagement Teams to learn more. We can connect employers with skilled workers. But we can also do much more than that. Through JobsPlus, for example, we can help with wage costs. This scheme has already resulted in approximately 3,000 employers recruiting more than 4,200 employees who had been long-term unemployed. This incentive is available to all industries and to all employers, irrespective of the number of employees or size of company. All the Department’s services are provided at no cost to employers including Jobs Ireland, our job vacancy service. Already, the Employer Engagement Teams in my Department are supporting contractors across the country who have been appointed to deliver on the Schools Building Programme. Through engagement at an early stage with the awarding bodies and the main contractors, suitably qualified and experienced candidates are being identified to meet the social clause requirements for these new roles which will benefit all involved. And conscious of the critical importance of avoiding displacement of existing employees, the development of the social clauses is focused on recruitment for newly created roles. We want to see a properly functioning construction industry accounting for a sensible and sustainable portion of economic output. That is why our relationship with the Construction Industry Federation is so important. The main objective is to support construction companies, help them prosper and ensure tens of thousands of former construction workers return to employment. This will create the virtuous circle I have mentioned, which will benefit all our people. I look forward to working with the Federation to make this happen. And I would encourage any employer in the sector to contact my Department to see the range of supports we have to offer – I believe you’ll be pleasantly surprised.”

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CIF Galway branch delegate meeting in Dáil Éireann with Galway TDs to discuss construction activity in the West of Ireland

Donal Walsh, Walsh Crane Hire, Ger Ronayne, JJ Rhattigan & Co., Gus McCarthy, McCarthy Keville O’Sullivan, Tim Flaherty, Mairtin O’Flatharta Teo., Tom Parlon, CIF, Nigel Tighe, Purcell Construction, Deputy Derek Nolan & Deputy Michael Kitt, (Michael Burns, Burns Construction, out of shot)

CIF Director General Tom Parlon thanks Fiona Spillane, Sales Director of Shorcontrol Safety Ltd for their support towards the CIF.

Employment figures signal growth in the industry


he CIF has said the jump of over 13,000 construction jobs is a clear signal of the growth in the industry. The latest CSO Quarterly National Household Survey recorded 116,700 people are working in the sector. “It is great to see further growth in the number of construction jobs being created,” said CIF Director General Tom Parlon. “It is not only very positive for the industry but it is also extremely beneficial to the wider economy. Former construction workers still make up the largest group on the Live Register. An increase in the number of people in construction jobs will help reduce that number. “The industry has been saying for several years now that as soon as there was a pick up in activity then there would be a strong increase in the number of construction jobs. Construction is a very labour intensive activity and it represents the quickest way of moving people from the unemployment lines to paid employment.”

CIF Roadshow – The Pillo Hotel, Galway, Thursday 5th March, 2015

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CIF member wins Small Firms’ award

“Keep Safe” road show comes to Gort


p to 100 children from Gaelscoil na bhFilí, Scoil Eoin, Lurga National School, Lough Cutra NS and Convent Primary School attended a Health and Safety Authority ‘Keep Safe’ event at Gort Community Centre, Co. Galway. A range of state agencies and organisations came together to deliver the programme which is directed at 5th and 6th class pupils. It aims to promote safety and community awareness through involving the children in a series of interactive scenarios with a strong safety theme. The aims of the one day ‘Keep Safe’ event are to help children

CECA Ireland competition winner The winner of the CECA Ireland competition for a two-night stay in the five-star Powerscourt Hotel in Wicklow, including Spa treatments, golf and dinner is: Jackie Whelan RPS West Pier Business Campus, Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin

to become aware of personal and home safety, learn how to react to dangerous situations, foster good citizenship, learn how to recognise hazards and manage risks, learn how to stay safe within the context of, for example, road safety, water safety, fire safety and site safety. The agencies and organisations that were represented on the day include the Health and Safety Authority (HSA), Bus Éireann, Construction Industry Federation, ESB Networks, County Galway Civil Defence Loughrea Unit, Galway County Council (Road Safety), An Garda Siochana, Galway Mountain Rescue, Irish Water Safety and Teagasc.

(l-r) AJ Noonan, SFA Chairman, Richard Bruton, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation, Helen Nugent, Stephen Nugent and Majella Kelleher, Energy Demand Management, SEAI


aas based engineering company, Nugent Manufacturing Ltd, has three great reasons to celebrate. Following a year long introduction program they received their accreditation for ISO 9001-2008 and the newly introduced CE Marking standard for steel fabrication industry CE-1090-2 Execution Class 2. The company were then crowned overall winner in the Small Firms Association Small Business Awards’ Energy and Environmental Sustainability category. This is not the first time Nugent Manufacturing has been selected for this prestigious awards, having been a finalists in 2010 in the manufacturing category. The award was presented by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton,TD. Stephen Nugent said that this award is for all the company’s dedicated staff and their tireless determination to make Nugent Manufacturing a world-class company.

ENDA RYDER – RIP Enda Ryder, a well-known and respected member of the electrical contracting industry, passed away on Friday 30th January 2015 at the age of 82 following a short illness. Enda was President of the Electrical Contractors Association in 1969 and 1991. He was a Director of CJ Ryder, a business started by his father in 1932. Enda developed the business with his co-director Frank Lawlor and later with Des Kelly and Fred Hickey under the banner CJ Ryder Lawlor. Enda was also chairman of RECI from 1996 to 1997.

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CONSTRUCTION FINANCING OPTIONS – THE NEW REALITY The Department of Finance, in conjunction with the CIF held a Construction Financing Options Event on 4th March in the Marker Hotel, writes HUBERT FITZPATRICK, CIF Director Housing & Planning.


(l-r) Dominc Doheny, Senior Vice President CIF, Tom Parlon, CIF Director General with Minister for Finance Michael Noonan, TD, Ann Nolan, Deputy Secretary General, Department of Finance and John Mulcahy, formerly of NAMA

forward, the type of projects that can he objective of the event was to highlight be supported by equity providers and the changed environment for construction the nature of deals sought. The balance and development financing and to improve required between ownership, capital and access to information on current financing control of companies was addressed and requirements for development. Key speakers the significant role for third party equity at the event included the Minister for Finance in the development land market. A Michael Noonan, Ann Nolan, Deputy significant differentiation was made for Secretary General, Department of Finance, funding varying project types depending Tom Parlon, CIF Director General and John on planning status of lands, pre-lets and Mulcahy, formerly of NAMA, who addressed the availability of compelling economic financing construction and development fundamentals supporting any project. matters. For instance, the event heard that A panel session then followed from equity the purchase of speculative land will providers’ perspectives, which included Nick generally only be funded by private Corcoran (Cardinal Capital), Brian Moran individuals who are prepared to lock up (Hines), Frank Dowling (ISIF) and Justin funds for the longer term. Lands with Bickle (Oaktree). The subsequent panel zoning will require funding by equity session addressing perspectives from the main partners who will require a high level banks and senior lenders included David of return while lands with appropriate Renwick of AIB, Paul McDonnell of Bank of planning permission could be funded Ireland, Nick MacNair of Deutsche Bank and with the assistance of mezzanine finance. Gervaise McAteer of Ulster Bank. It was pointed out that projects with Key messages delivered at the event planning permission and compelling included the evolving principle that senior economic justification have a lot of debt will only account for a maximum of 60% possibilities for funding including to 65% of funding required for any project senior finance, mezzanine going forward. This then results Key messages funding and other in a requirement for equity/ delivered at the event opportunities. mezzanine funding to bring included the evolving Providers of senior projects to fruition. principle that senior finance will require an The event addressed debt will only account independent marketing the appetite for risk for for a maximum of 60% report to support the development projects moving to 65% of funding required for any project going forward.

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project being developed and they engage technical personnel to examine construction risks. Senior funders will require detail, due diligence, understand the projects, crunch the numbers and satisfy themselves in relation to the market. Senior debt will not be available without equity. While questions were asked from the audience in relation to cost of capital and arrangement fees for senior debt lending, the response from funders was that the cost of finance will not be the inhibitor to a project progressing as other costs will affect viability. Equity providers will want to achieve investment in the larger projects to achieve their target rate of return. While interest from equity funders varies for project sizes ranging from €2m upwards, there will be a real challenge for smaller projects and the role and interest from intermediary funders. Smaller projects will require local partners. The major funds will only keep their investors happy when deals at a minimum exceed €1m. The end result is that smaller projects will be difficult to fund and manage. This will be a major issue as the demand for development projects recovers throughout the country and the availability of adequate equity investors for smaller projects becomes critical. C

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Specialist finance for new machinery If you’re looking to purchase new machinery in 2015, Close Brothers Commercial Finance can help. We provide funding for almost all types of construction and quarry equipment and can tailor repayments to match your income patterns. We’re dedicated to supporting the industry, which is why we’re sponsoring CQMS15 in April. If you prefer to speak to us before the show, you can contact one of the team in either of our Belfast, Cork, Dublin or Galway offices.

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EXPANDED MACHINERY SHOW UNDERLINES GROWING MARKET CONFIDENCE Organisers of CQMS ’15, Ireland’s largest construction and quarrying machinery show is increasing capacity to meet the rising demand for exhibitors seeking to showcase construction and quarrying machinery equipment at the two-day event on April 17th and 18th at Molloy’s Quarry in Tullamore, Co Offaly.


Organisers of CQMS 15 with CIF Director General Tom Parlon (fourth from right) at the show launch

this year. Many of these exhibitors have here is growing anticipation amongst industry not attended an Irish show in nearly 10 leaders in the lead-up to the machinery years and to be in a position to showcase event, which is the first of its kind in Ireland to an Irish market once again is very since the economic downturn. Exhibitors exciting and indicative of a growing and are preparing to present a huge selection of performing construction industry.” new machinery, products and technologies to target groups attending the show with the expectation that potential purchasers will have FINANCE their interest piqued at what is anticipated to Adrian Madden, Head of Sales, Close be an extremely competitive event. Brothers Commercial Finance and event Almost 100 exhibitors have already sponsor, says it’s no surprise that the confirmed their stands and a handful of show is a sell-out, following substantial remaining spaces remain as a result of the interest among Ireland’s construction recent extension of the site. and quarry sectors. Show organiser, Brian Coogan, of “The event offers an unrivalled Machinery Movers Magazine is looking opportunity for business owners to forward to what he believes is going to be a network and view the latest technology hugely successful show for buyers and sellers in their industry, and it’s coming at a alike. time when confidence appears to be “The heightened interest in exhibition growing among Irish firms. The market stands meant that we had to extend the site to is moving forward and businesses of all accommodate new companies sizes need to ensure that seeking to participate in the they are in a position to The show opens event, which is a very positive respond, whether it is with a ribbon-cutting step at this stage,” he says. through the acquisition ceremony with “I am very happy with the of new machinery Tom Parlon of the interest from both exhibiting and equipment, or by Construction Industry companies and interested improving their cash Federation on Friday potential buyers of equipment flow. Our experienced April 17th and will and I think that this show will team will be present run for two days. It be a landmark event in the throughout the event to is anticipated that construction industry calendar advise business owners between 8,000 – 10,000 people will attend the event over the two days.

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on sustainable and bespoke funding solutions for equipment and machinery of any size.” According to Adrian visitors to the show interested in funding machinery purchases need to look beyond the traditional banks. Asset refinancing is a suitable option for many within the sector where construction firms can unlock the value of existing assets to fund purchases. He says Close Brothers Commercial Finance is acutely aware that people need decisions fast and the company works hard at turning deals around quickly.


Niall McSharry of McSharry Bros is preparing to showcase their latest offering in construction machinery - the Kobelco Excavator. “We are looking forward to presenting this well-known Japanese brand for which we have recently been appointed the exclusive dealers in Ireland,” he says. Peter Craven of CDE Global is anticipating some positive growth in the Irish market this year and he is confident that CQMS ’15 will kick-start the domestic trade once again for the company. C

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Attending the recent GMIT Construction Conference were (l-r) Justin Molloy, CIF, Martin Taggart, GMIT, Paudie Coffey, Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Community & Local Government, Sean Downey, CIF, Martin Lang, CIF and Conor Coyne, Irish Water


The fifth International Construction Management Day Conference, hosted by the GMIT Department of Building & Civil Engineering, had the highest number of delegates in attendance since the inaugural conference five years ago. BRIAN FOLEY reports from Galway.


his year’s conference was opened by Paudie Coffey, Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Community & Local Government with Special Responsibility for Housing, Planning and Coordination of the Construction 2020 Strategy. The Minister had a simple message for students attending the conference: “You as graduates will be in demand”. Now the largest annual construction event in the west of Ireland, the conference attracts delegates included contractors, suppliers, architects, engineers, surveyors and other construction professionals along with staff and students from GMIT’s built environment programmes and other third-level institutions, as well as staff from local authorities and public sector organisations. Fifteen expert speakers from Ireland and the UK presented this year during the full day event. Conference organiser and chair Martin Taggart was delighted to report to the conference, that CAO applications for GMIT Construction Management degree programmes have increased by 50% on last year

and currently there aren’t enough graduates to fill jobs now becoming available. He said applications for all other construction related programmes in the School of Engineering are also up substantially on last year. “Our strategic decision to maintain the core built environment programmes - Construction Management, Civil Engineering, Architectural Engineering and Quantity Surveying - during the downturn have paid dividends and we are now seeing significantly increased demand,” he said. Deputy Paudie Coffey, Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government, told delegates that confidence and activity levels in construction are now thankfully continuing to register positive growth each quarter. “I sense a growing mood of optimism that the recovery is real and lasting. “The figures speak for themselves -construction employment now stands at 116,000 persons, an increase of 13,000 persons in the past year alone. Housing completions reached 11,000 in 2014, up by 32% on 2013.”

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he said. Other speakers on show included John O’Regan, Director of the AECOM group in Ireland, who presented a detailed overview of the construction industry in Ireland and further afield, whilst also considering the medium term prospects for construction. “We see steady growth until 2025,” he said. “We’re predicting construction growth of 15% in 2015.” Civil construction continues to be the dominant sector, accounting for 38% of construction output. Sean Downey, Director Specialist Contracting, CIF, provided an introduction to the philosophy of ‘Lean Construction’ a concept that seeks to adopt manufacturing process techniques to identify and drive out waste in construction. Conference chair, Martin Taggart noted the on-going and strong relationship between GMIT and the local CIF branch, via local chair Paul Carey and Regional Manager, Justin Molloy. Initial planning is already underway to provide a Lean Construction seminar at GMIT in conjunction with the CIF and the Lean Community of Practice in Ireland. Sean also encouraged graduates to travel abroad for a couple of years to gain experience, with the proviso they come back as “Ireland is the best place to live”. Building Information Modelling (BIM) essentially 3D integrated modelling of construction projects, together with specification, cost, and time information is currently a subject of great interest to the industry. BIM promises a step change in accuracy and speed in developing and analysis of project designs. The overriding message about BIM is that it opens up new markets. One of the current challenges facing the construction sector is matching younger professionals with the software knowledge with older more experienced staff. Two illuminating presentations were given, firstly by John Eynon, representing

the CIOB in the UK. John gave a very informative and thought provoking presentation on the UK adoption of BIM, where it will become mandatory for public works during 2016. During his presentation John discussed the nature of ‘change’ and how it’s not the fittest or strongest who survive but those who are most responsive to change. “It’s inevitable that construction will go the way of other industries,” he said. “Digital technology will change how we do business. 3D printers could disrupt the supply chain. Imagine a construction sector where all the materials are made on-site. “Organisations that don’t take this on board will die. If we don’t keep up the needs of industry will leave us behind. Young people will change the industry.” To put his comments in context, John asked the audience to imagine a Google or Apple entering the construction space. “They wouldn’t be worried about traditional methods, and that’s what is coming down the tracks – a disrupter in the construction sector.” Mark Costello and his team from RPS Engineering Group provided an Irish perspective, showing practical examples of their work for major projects both in Ireland and the UK. Mark said BIM was responsible for RPS acquiring fee values of €9m for new overseas work. Michael Wadood, President of CABE also attended, Michael is a chartered building surveyor by profession and provided an interesting take on the concept of design influences on access for people with disabilities. This used a number of adapted photographs that mimicked a disabled person’s view of the built environment around them. These demonstrated the difficulty that disabled people have with design elements that the able bodied take for granted. Jan Göttsche, GMIT Assistant Lecturer and PhD candidate also provided an update on his PhD field work, where he is helping building contractors reduce

energy and water consumption and physical waste on their construction projects. An additional breakout session was added this year which focused on the innovative GMIT study module ‘The Next Step’. The module helps transition GMIT graduates smoothly from college into the workplace and was developed within the Department of Building and Civil Engineering at GMIT. The breakout was arranged in workshop format and speakers included Paul Sheridan, Deputy Registrar from Engineers Ireland; Bridie Killoran, GMIT careers officer and Siobhaun Cawley, GMIT lecturer who developed the module. A very lively debate ensured between academics; students; graduates and construction employers. The afternoon session started with a civil engineering focus, Pat Lucey, Head of Civils at John Sisk and Sons contractors, provided a review of civil engineering and its prospects. Pat is also currently President of the Civil Engineering Contractors Association. He was followed by his colleague Noel Curtis who reported on his progress and planning for the new Tuam to Gort N17 / N18 PPP road development which has just commenced. Noel will act as Sisk’s project manager on their elements of this major joint venture infrastructure project. The final speaker of the day was Kevin Sheridan. Kevin is President of the Association of European Building Surveyors and Construction Experts and has been heavily involved in developing a workable system of building control legislation. Following a number of high profile building control failures, such as Priory Hall, a new and robust system of building control was introduced in 2014. Kevin summarised the key element and processes of the new regulations and discussed some of the teething problems that have been encountered since introduction. Over 300 delegates attended the conference during the day. C

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TEGRAL OPENS IRELAND’S FIRST ROOFING ACADEMY Tegral, the specialists in roofing, has launched the Tegral Academy, Ireland’s first-ever training facility for roofing contractors that aims to improve the quality of standards and workmanship in Irish roofing.


peaking to Construction, Tegral Managing Director Paddy Kelly said the academy made sense now that growth – “single digit growth in 2014” – has returned to the market. “It’s been a dream of mine for a long time to build this academy,” he said. “For the first time we’re producing properly trained roofing contractors. These guys have an appetite for training and learning, the feedback we received from them so far is very positive.” Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation, Damien English TD, officially launched the Tegral Academy with a helping hand from one of Kildare’s famous sons, Ireland and Leinster rugby star, Jamie Heaslip, part by Construction 2020, the who two weeks later would make a crucial try- Irish government’s strategy to saving tackle against Scotland to help Ireland accelerate growth and renewal in win the Six Nations Championship. Ireland’s construction industry.  Representing an investment of over With the Tegral Academy, our €250,000, the Tegral Academy features ambition is to improve the custom-made roof training rigs designed to standards of roofing skills and up-skill roofing contractors through practical workmanship in line with this technique-based demonstrations. The full-day accelerated growth so that our training sessions also cover expert briefings roofing contractors have a competitive on ICP2 (the Irish Code of Practice for Slating edge and as an industry we can fulfill and Tiling) and the new Building Control our maximum potential.” Amendment Regulations. Damien English, Minister for Skills, Due to huge early demand, the training Research and Innovation and TD said sessions will run twice a week and will give that he was proud to launch the Tegral Irish roofers the opportunity to see how roof Academy and praised the performance products are manufactured, how they should of the local Kildare company after a be correctly installed and their distinctive difficult number of years which has been features and benefits designed to withstand felt across the construction industry. our unique Irish weather. “Tegral is a great example of a Speaking at the launch, Paddy Kelly, said, successful Irish company that has “It’s a proud day for all of us at Tegral to consolidated during the recession and is launch the Tegral Academy, which has been now in a position to return to growth. I a vision of ours for many years now. The commend Paddy Kelly and his talented timing to set up the academy is right; after a team here at Tegral for challenging few years, there are investing back into the strong signals now to indicate heart of its manufacturing Established in 1936, that the Irish construction base in Athy, and Tegral has an annual market is recovering - albeit moreover for showing real turnover of over cautiously. commitment and ambition €37m and is one of “At Tegral, we’ve seen an to help improve standards the largest employers uplift in sales orders in the and expertise in Irish in Kildare, currently last six months, helped in roofing. employing 136 people at its Athy manufacturing base.

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“Demonstrating that Irish contractors have world-class roofing expertise and skills will be crucial as the market recovers and we move closer towards a strong and sustainable construction sector,” he added. Jamie Heaslip said he was delighted to come home to help launch the Tegral Academy. “When I was growing up, Tegral was widely known and respected for being a major employer in the region and also a sponsor of several local initiatives and sports teams,” he said. “I’m delighted to come here today and show solidarity and support for this fantastic company that is clearly on the road back to growth. I wish Tegral and the whole team here long and continued success.” After completion of their Tegral Academy training, each participant will be included in Tegal’s list of recommended contractors which is published on the Tegral Academy website. C

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N17/N18 GORT TO TUAM The State’s largest civil engineering project is underway in Galway as the preliminary fencing work is being completed and construction set to commence in April. The N17/N18 Gort to Tuam motorway, an essential component of the ‘Atlantic Corridor’, will take thousands of vehicles out of Clarinbridge, Claregalway and Tuam each day when it opens in 2018. The contract for the scheme was awarded by the National Roads Authority to the Public Private Partnership company Direct Route (Tuam) Ltd., whose members include Roadbridge, Sisk, and Lagan Construction. The same consortium successfully delivered the N18 Limerick Tunnel project in recent years. The scheme runs from Gort in the south to Tuam in the north with a major junction with the N6 Galway to Dublin route east of Galway City, which will ease the frequent congestion and delays the current network suffers. The project scope consists of 53.2km length of motorway standard dual-carriageway route between Gort and Tuam, connecting to a 4.2km length of non-motorway dual-carriageway by-pass to the west of Tuam. The project will significantly improve road safety; reduce journey times between Limerick, the Shannon Airport region, Galway and beyond; improve connectivity within the western region and significantly assist in the economic development of the Border, Midlands and Western regions. The scheme is very much an Irish venture, all the sub contractors on the project are local and on average over 400 people will be employed. One of the unique aspects of the N17/N18 project will be the installation of the Rathmorrisey interchange over the ‘live’ M6. This will be a three-tier junction. The project, which is being carried out in three sections by Roadbridge, Sisk and Lagan includes the following principal features:   • Major junctions at Kiltiernan, Rathmorrissey, Anangh Hill and Kilmore • Two railway bridges • Five river bridges • Thirty-eight road over and underbridges • Thirty six other structures including footbridges, accommodation underpasses and stream culverts. • Various works to meet the requirements of relevant persons and relevant authorities; • Various fencing, drainage, landscaping and environmental works; • Various signage and lighting works.

DirectRoute (Tuam) Ltd is a special purpose company that has been formed to carry out the N17/N18 Gort to Tuam PPP Scheme. The consortium is comprised of Marguerite, InfraRed, Lagan, Roadbridge, Sisk and Strabag. On 30th April 2014, the National Roads Authority signed a Public Private Partnership (PPP) contract with the PPP company. The terms of the contract state the PPP company is responsible for the financing, design, construction, operation and maintenance of the project facilities for the 25 year concession period, following the end of the construction period in early 2018. At the end of the PPP contract, the asset transfers back to the NRA. As the project is not a toll road the consortium is paid in full by the State by way of availability payments, i.e. contractual payments for providing the road and making it available for use to a high standard.

JUNCTIONS The alignment follows a largely greenfield route with mainly grade-separate junctions at: • Kiltiernan Interchange – connecting to the existing N18; • Rathmorrissy – connecting to the M6 Dublin-Galway motorway; • Annagh Hill – connecting to the N63; and • Kilmore (at grade junction) – connecting to the N17. • Ballygaddy Road interchange – connecting to Ballygaddy Road

NUMBERS The scheme will involve: • Shifting 4.3m3 of earthworks • Excavating 1.8m3 of rock • Installing 150km of fencing • 30,000m3 of structural concrete C

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Noel Curtis, Project Manager on the M17/M18 Gort to Tuam motorway

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Halcrow Barry is proud to be associated with the N17/N18 Gort to Tuam PPP Scheme, the largest transportation project currently underway in the west of Ireland. This project was recently awarded the “European PPP deal of the Year 2014” by Thomson Reuters’ Project Finance International magazine. Halcrow Barry is a long term partnership between J. B. Barry and Partners and Halcrow Group Ireland and brings over 15 years of experience, working together to serve our Clients. In November 2011, Halcrow became part of the CH2M HILL group of companies adding global reach, skills and resources but more importantly specialist skills such as the design and programme management of large scale projects. This arrangement brings to our Clients the benefits of the local highways, bridges and construction experience of J. B. Barry and Partners and the wide ranging major international project experience of CH2M HILL, based on many years of involvement in the highways and transportation field. A key strength is our ability to unite professional resources in the planning, development, appraisal, funding, design and supervision of the development of transportation infrastructure projects for all modes of transport. This strength and experience enables us to provide services across all sectors covering: • • • • •

Roads Airports Pavement Design Bridges Railways & Urban Metros

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Tunnels Traffic Ports, Harbours & Maritime Cycle infrastructure

We have built up a strong client base by providing advice and expertise on a wide range of issues relating to transportation engineering. Our diverse range of clients include government agencies, central and local government, contractors, architects, town planners and private sector developers. The majority of work is repeat business, which is a testament to our ability to work within multidisciplinary teams and deliver innovative and sustainable solutions on time and within strict budgetary constraints. We bring particular experience to the area of PPPs, acting as owner’s representative or delivery partners with Concessionaires on infrastructure PPP projects across the whole of Europe. Our role includes economic and revenue advice, design, programme management and operations and maintenance delivery. We have been or are involved in all three PPP Projects in the current tranche of Irish roads PPP Schemes. For further information on how we can help you deliver world class infrastructure please contact Tom Meagher or Liam Prendiville at: Halcrow Barry Ltd., Unit 5-6, Classon House, Dundrum Business Park Dublin 14. Tel: 01 4851401 Email: or Due to ongoing and increased workload Halcrow Barry is recruiting for a number of site supervision staff for projects based in the South East, West and North West of the country. Please visit our website for further details.

industrial fencing contractors Specialists in Motorway Fencing, Sound Barriers, Palisade & Chainlink Fences & Gates

Proud fencing contractors of central & north sections of Gort/ Tuam N17/N18 Duncan Fencing , Garryduff, Dungourney, Co. Cork. Tel. 021 4668232

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hat do most people want from a career? Generally people want security, a stimulating environment, financial rewards and the potential to progress.  They want to be able to transfer their skills to different companies or projects and to work on interesting challenges.  They want to have a career that will allow them to provide for their families in the future.  They want to have a career for life.  Not many careers tick all those boxes.  But the construction industry does.   A career in construction is an invitation to a whole world of options.  Few other industries offer the opportunities available in the construction sector. Construction workers get well paid and our work is constantly evolving.  Each project brings unique and interesting challenges.   Irish construction workers are in demand all over the world.  In recent years construction companies from countries like Canada, New Zealand, Australia, USA, the Middle East, Britain – in fact from practically every country with a thriving construction sector – have been beating a path to Ireland to try to lure our workers abroad to work for them.  They do this because Irish construction workers are highly regarded on a worldwide basis.  This is also a very good time to be considering a career in construction.  The sector is on the rise again in Ireland.  Last year 13,100 additional construction jobs were created in Ireland.  That’s 45% of all the additional jobs throughout the Irish economy.  To put that in context, it means that for practically every 2 extra jobs created in Ireland last year, 1 of them was a construction job.   There are now 116,700 people working in construction in Ireland.  What’s more, that number will rise over the coming years.  The Government is targeting the creation of an extra 60,000 construction jobs by 2020.  That will create a lot of opportunities for people looking to begin their career.  What other sector will provide so many possibilities for those who are completing their education?  Activity throughout the industry is

growing and it will continue to grow in the coming years. There will be strong demand for employees with construction skills as Irish companies need qualified people to help them fulfil projects.  A growing industry always creates more jobs and no sector will grow as quickly in Ireland as construction will over the next few years.   From personal experience I know first-hand how rewarding a career in construction can be.  I’ve spent my whole life in this industry.  From my early years as an apprentice and through the many other jobs I’ve held, the construction sector has provided a satisfying and stimulating path.  The skills I learned in the construction industry helped me set up my own business. Designer Group is a specialist mechanical and electrical contracting firm operating in Ireland, the UK and Africa.  What I love about the construction industry is how no two days are ever the same.  Each day brings a new challenge and new possibilities.  I don’t think I would have had the same prospects in any other sector.  I hope by reading this Careers in Construction supplement you will see all that the construction industry has to offer and why it is a great career choice. 

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Whether graduate or apprentice, there is a growing demand for school leavers to enter the construction sector. BRIAN FOLEY and MARTIN FORAN report.


t was no surprise when during the recession the number of people entering the apprenticeship system collapsed. The same scenario was reported in colleges, where constructionrelated courses suffered huge losses. This significant drop off in the number of second level students taking up construction-related college courses is now impacting the industry as it recovers. Add to this the fact that thousands of professionals left these shores during the economic downturn and it is clear why there is a skills shortage looming. The economy is on the up now and the challenge is clear. “There is five per cent growth expected this year,” says John O’Shaughnessy, Managing Director of Clancy Construction, referring to the economy as a whole. “The construction industry is expected to follow suit so there is going to be demand.” But it seems that the professionals aren’t there. At least not in sufficient numbers.

Little wonder that John and others like him have been stressing the significance of attracting second level students to consider construction-related courses. There are a number of initiatives afoot which may be starting to bear fruit. Interest in construction-related courses has been up in the recent CAO applications, it has been noted. As we speak, John is preparing to attend a careers’ conference in Waterford to help spread the word about careers and opportunities in this sector. “I think there are going to be significant opportunities for graduates in the next number of years as the economy and the industry recover,” says John. “Most contractors are seeing an increase in output and as such they are looking for graduates to form part of their management teams. “This also applies to architects/engineers and QS firms

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In 2015, over 215,000 citizens will commence courses across a diverse range of Further Education and Training Programmes including apprenticeship. We believe that by providing a Further Eductaion and Training Sector that is optimised for the needs of learners, employers and communities, we can harness the skills of the individual, strengthen the economy and promote social inclusiveness. The new Further Eduction and Training Strategy, which was launched in May 2014, sets out a roadmap for the sector over the next five years. All the organisations in this sector including SOLAS and the Education and Training Boards are committed to the delivery of this strategy which can be downloaded from

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Our business only succeeds as a result of real partnership. We help our people develop successful careers in construction so we can deliver succesful projects for you.

Clancy Construction Drangan, Thurles, Co. Tipperary, Ireland. t: 052 915 2166 e: w: Tipperary Dublin Limerick



seen many changes at first hand. “After the economic downturn the traditional school leaver applicants fell off quite dramatically,” he says. Mature students became more of a feature however. These were often people who had some trade experience but had perhaps lost their jobs. However they couldn’t leave the country for personal reasons like family commitments. Now things are starting to change with those applications from school leavers rising. Again, it hasn’t all just happened. Brian and his department colleagues have been visiting schools in the region to talk about their courses and the opportunities that exist in terms of the construction industry in general. That even goes as far as bringing students or even graduates back to their former secondary schools to speak. Brian has noticed things changing on the ground too. Companies who are looking for graduates are starting to make contact more often for example. “One company I was talking to recently said they are finding it hard to get recent graduates to fill site management and engineering roles,” Brian adds. “A few years ago we were exporting most of our graduates.” So the message seems clear. Those who make the choice will likely find that there is real opportunity out there. At WIT and other colleges this will often start with that placement which is an integral part of the course. “A placement is a chance for a company to try someone out for a period of time and if they get on well there are opportunities there,” says Brian. John O’Shaughnessy agrees, you can see who has the potential, he says, adding that the placement experience has been “really positive” for his company. Indeed the company will often keep in touch with a student after their placement has finished and will encourage them to make contact again after the course has concluded. One of those who began in this way with Clancy’s is Patrick Brereton who completed his Leaving Certificate in 2009 and then entered the Level 7 Civil Engineering programme at WIT, which he successfully completed in 2012. He then entered year three of Level 8 Construction Management & Engineering to advance his career prospects. Part of the reason for continuing his studies at WIT was the opportunity provided by industrial placement. Patrick secured his placement with Clancy Construction, working on the refurbishment of Kilkenny Garda Station and the construction of a respite centre at St. John’s Hospital in Enniscorthy. Having completed his studies in Construction Management & Engineering at WIT in 2014, Patrick was offered a full-time job with Clancy Construction as a site engineer. A Topaz Service Station has been the first project that he has been involved with from start to finish – completed within a tight six-month timeframe. While the work can be challenging at times, Patrick has found it to be very rewarding. “In a short space of time, I have been involved in building a state-of-the-art motorway services facility,” he says. “With challenging ground conditions, the project involved a significant amount of civil engineering works including bulk



who also see an increase in their work load in the years ahead.” This is not simply paying lip service where John O’Shaughnessy is concerned. He and his company Clancy Construction have been engaging with and supporting young people in their careers in several ways. And it is an area that he has been talking about with the Construction Industry Federation (CIF) for some time. “We have set up a special committee within the CIF to look at the whole area of third level construction-related courses and how we can promote them to second level students,” he says. “And we are trying to engage with the universities and colleges and the professional bodies to come up with a national campaign.” One initiative John mentions is a sort of “open house” idea where people can visit sites. There, professionals will explain to students what their work entails. John believes that course-related work placements are extremely important. Often the students will come on placement from colleges like Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) where Dr Brian Graham is course leader on the Construction Management & Engineering programme, a four year course featuring a nine-month placement in the third year. “Our first round CAO numbers are up this year,” says Brian echoing what we have heard elsewhere. “We have noticed an increase which is positive.” Fingers are crossed that all of this will translate into a bigger uptake this autumn but all agree that it is a good sign. Brian Graham has been involved here for ten years. So he has

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Helping you to protect your employees’ future • Help your employees to build up valuable retirement benefits while also providing low cost Sick Pay and Death in Service benefits • CWPS offers product features and benefits that meet the needs of employers and employees in the Construction Industry • Contact us for more information phone 01 4977663, visit

The C.I.F. BenevolenT TrusT The C.I.F. Benevolent Trust was established by the Construction Industry Federation in 1982. It is a Charitable Trust and is dedicated to the relief of distress on Owners, Directors, Senior management supervisory staff and dependants in the Construction Industry. It is funded by a small weekly payment by employers in the Construction Industry depending on their size of operation. It is managed by a voluntary Board of Trustees and operates throughout the Republic of Ireland. For more information please contact in confidence: The Chairperson C.I.F. Benevolent Trust Construction House Canal Road Dublin 6 Email:

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CAREERS IN CONSTRUCTION excavation; soil remediation; the construction of fuel tanks, petrol interceptors and rainwater attenuation; as well as the re-alignment of the main road.” Claire Kilrane first studied Civil Engineering (BEng, O) at the Institute of Technology Sligo(ITS) and later went on to study Construction Management and Engineering (BSc, H) at WIT. Says Claire: “When I was on my industrial work placement from WIT I was fortunate enough to work for Turner Construction on the redevelopment of Madison Square Garden, promoted as the world’s most famous arena.” Since graduation Claire has been working for Laing O’Rourke on the Liverpool Street Crossrail site, which is Europe’s biggest infrastructure project. Claire is a site engineer. “You’re expected to be a step ahead, to be aware of what is happening next,” she explains, regarding her role. “We work closely with the tradespeople on the job, ensuring that they have the necessary information and resources to complete their work. “I am also responsible for many areas of the quality of the work, always keeping a look ahead at the programme so that we all know what’s coming next and ensure that we’re prepared. “I have always been interested in construction,” says Claire. “Growing up I always loved home improvement shows and was

strongly considering architecture. “Later I took up construction technology for my Leaving Cert and began to appreciate the practical side and learning how to make designs work. “Engineering is so diverse and broad that it just seemed like the best route for me. I knew that construction was the general area I wanted to work in but I found pinpointing exactly what I wanted to be difficult. “I enjoy the pace,” says Claire of her current work. “No day is the same. No project is the same. Everyone is continually learning and it forces people to work together really well and to share the knowledge learned on previous projects. “Construction for me is the most rewarding career out there. There’s so much potential for work and travel. There is such a diverse range of roles available in construction. I think that it makes it easy to find a role that suits everyone’s needs. “It’s always exciting to be a part of something this big. When you work on a project that creates attention from the public and media it creates a lot of energy in the workplace. I think that element is unique to construction. “When it’s all finished it’s this amazing arena or transport system to everyone else, but for the people who worked on that project it’s so much more and every element tells a story!” C

AOIBHÍN GAYNOR, BA BAI MIEI, JONES ENGINEERING GROUP “The greatest benefit of a degree in engineering is it offers a wide range of career possibilities, and provides you with a set of skills highly adaptable to many sectors. Choosing to study mechanical and manufacturing engineering was the first major milestone in my career development. The thing I love most about engineering is that no two days on the job will be the same. It enables you to work as part of a diverse, collaborative team of professionals and teaches you how to communicate complex ideas. Projects are always changing, and developing - particularly as the technology and area of expertise develops. Engineering involves creativity, innovation and allows you to work on interesting projects, with the opportunity to travel. I am currently employed as a mechanical engineer with the Jones Engineering Group. At present I am working on one of the largest Building Information Modelling (BIM) projects in Europe at the Intel campus in Leixlip, Co Kildare. As a team lead my day to day activities involve managing a group of 3D Virtual Construction Designers in preparing 3D models using several Autodesk software packages. This involves investigative design work, site visits, complying with customer specifications, applicable codes, standards and company procedures. In my role I have developed the ability to critically analyse and resolve complex problems through team work and project management. I meet with the client at key milestones in the design and detailing process to ensure I can implement their needs and requirements

into our designs. I help resolve any technical or site issues throughout all stages of design and construction. To see the construction of 3D model designs you have created, and have them come to life in this way, is a very rewarding aspect of my job. I have a first class honours degree in Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering BAI and a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Mathematics BA from Trinity College Dublin (TCD). In the first two years of my degree I studied civil, mechanical, manufacturing, electrical, electronic and computer software engineering so I had excellent exposure to all areas where a career in engineering could lead. I chose to specialise in mechanical and manufacturing engineering in the third year of my degree as this was the area that most sparked my interest. I have also recently graduated with a level 9 Postgraduate Diploma in Project Management from TCD. As for advice to people thinking of a career in construction: It is important to undertake higher level maths if you are considering a career in engineering. Studying physics at Leaving Certificate level would be beneficial however I choose to study chemistry and biology, so don’t rule out engineering as a choice based on what subjects you may have already chosen. You should be self-motivated, determined and adaptable, as projects are constantly changing. Simply put, if you are interested in technology, innovation, creativity and an exciting, challenging career in a diverse environment then engineering is the right choice for you.”

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APPRENTICESHIP – KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND COMPETENCE TO BUILD A SUCCESSFUL CAREER When it comes to deciding on a career path to follow, the route that traditionally comes to mind is full time study in college or university. While many will take this route to their chosen career, it might not be for everyone.


programme have been designated by SOLAS and come within o is there another way of getting a qualification that will help the scope of the statutory apprenticeship system, which is you find employment in your chosen career? organised in Ireland by SOLAS in co-operation with the Apprenticeships have become a respected alternative to full Department of Education and Skills, the Higher Education time college or university courses. Comprising of alternating Authority, employers and unions. phases of on-the-job and off-the-job training and development, So how do you become an apprentice? There are some an apprenticeship provides an opportunity to get a recognised minimum educational qualifications necessary to become qualification while at the same time gaining on-the-job an apprentice. You must be at least 16 years of age and have experience relevant to your chosen career. achieved a minimum 5 D grades in the Junior Certificate Generally, the duration of an apprenticeship is a minimum examination or equivalent, or successfully complete an approved of four years consisting of alternating phases of training - three pre-apprenticeship course. However, in many instances off-the-job phases and four on-the-job phases. The ability to employers specify higher educational qualifications. If you are apply the knowledge gained and skills learnt during off-theover 16 years of age and have at least three years’ relevant work job phases spent in a training centre, Institute of Technology experience approved by SOLAS, apprenticeship might be an or another approved training provider, to the day to day option for you also. For some apprenticeships passing a colouroperations of a business, is a key benefit of apprenticeship and vision test is a mandatory requirement. one which appeals to many. This coupled with the benefit of To start an apprenticeship you must obtain employment as earning a salary while training further enhances the appeal of an apprentice in your chosen apprenticeship by an employer apprenticeship.  who is approved by SOLAS to train apprentices. You may have Apprentices are assessed on a structured on-going basis a relative, neighbour or friend who works in a craft occupation throughout their apprenticeship. Modular assessments or you may know a company operating in the trade in your area incorporating course work, standardised practical assessments that might consider recruiting you as an apprentice. Staff in your and theoretical assessments are carried out during the off-thelocal Department of Social Protection Employment Services job training phases. During the on-the-job training phases of office and senior training advisors in your local education and apprenticeship the apprentice’s competence is assessed to pretraining board offices may also be able to help with matching job specified standards by the employer. vacancies to registered individuals where possible. On successful completion of an apprenticeship a Level Employers too can reap the benefits of 6 Advanced Certificate Craft is awarded. Recognised both apprenticeship. Apprenticeship courses are based on uniform, nationally and internationally, this qualification opens up pre-specified and industry agreed standards and comply further opportunities in career development or progression to with current and future needs of the occupation. Through study further. Those awarded the Level 6 Advanced Certificate the systematic development and assessment of Craft are also eligible for consideration for skills, knowledge and competencies, apprentices entry into related degree programmes with the If you want to know become more productive and reach efficient worker Institutes of Technology provided other special more about becoming standards more quickly. entry requirements are met. an apprentice The demand for apprentices is growing with There are currently 27 crafts available or if you are an the recovery of the economy. There is a wide under the apprenticeship programme in employer interested range of construction related apprenticeships Ireland. However, the number and range of in recruiting an currently available including trades such as brick apprenticeships available is expected to increase apprentice you should & stonelaying, carpentry & joinery, construction with the expansion of apprenticeship into new contact your local plant fitting, and electrical to name but a few. As sectors of the economy. The recently established ETB Training Centre. activity in the construction industry continues to Apprenticeship Council has been tasked with Contact details are available at http:// grow the demand for skilled employees in these mapping out the sectors where apprenticeships trades will increase. A full list of trades covered by can make a real difference to both employers find-a-training-centre/ the standards based apprenticeship is available on and employees. C Craft occupations under the apprenticeship

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, JOSEPH MORAN, PHASE THREE PLUMBING APPRENTICE, JONES ENGINEERING “I am in my second year now and on my third phase, having just finished phase two. Overall, this apprenticeship should take me just under four years from start to finish. I tried out a few jobs before I started here. I did sports and leisure management in college but tore ligaments in my knee twice so I couldn’t do the practical work and had to think of something else to do. Next I did culinary arts in DIT which I completed. I was working at that but couldn’t deal with the hours. My dad said that it was not too late to do an apprenticeship. When I was in secondary school I had worked on sites as a labourer and I just think that I found my calling here. I am meticulous about everything I do and so it suits me down to the ground. I also like working with the different materials and the different techniques involved. I enjoy coming in to work now while I hear some of my friends

complaining about their days dragging in their office jobs. When I finish, my plan is to go to either Australia or Canada and work there but I don’t know for how long yet. This qualification is something you can travel with. At the moment I am getting a wide variety of experience and I really enjoy the welding aspects of the job in particular. I hope to be finished in two and a half years and it looks like a good time to qualify with the economy improving. As for taking up this career, I’d encourage anyone to go for it – if they are hands-on people. In school I had the mentality that I had to go to college and get a degree. I thought an apprenticeship wouldn’t be as good – but it’s sometimes nearly better. So if you don’t like the idea of an office job and you are a hands-on person I’d say just go for it.”

TIMOTHY McNAMARA, PHASE FIVE PLUMBING APPRENTICE, JONES ENGINEERING “I’m in the third year of my apprenticeship. All in it is a four year course with seven phases to it. Three of the phases are in college and the rest are spent on site. I am working with Jones Engineering and a lot of the work is on the mechanical side. I have been on two jobs with the company. I worked at Intel in Kildare where I was involved in the pipe work for the machines that make the chips there. I am on a job in Limerick now to do with a new pharmaceutical factory being built there. A lot of the work is industrial type work. However, in college we get a taste for all of the various areas of the trade, the domestic included. Both are interesting areas to work in. When I finished school I took a four year degree course in Limerick. That was in construction, economics and management. We

were encouraged to do construction and back then I’d never heard the world ‘recession’. I came out of college in 2008 and there was no steady supply of work. However, I got an opportunity in California and I went over there for two years. I was working with a civil engineering company and was involved with a lot of underground pipe work around the Bay area which I found interesting. Eventually things got quiet there too and I came home. The recession was worldwide. After coming back from the US I got a job in a factory in Shannon but it wasn’t really for me. I was looking around on-line one day and saw that Jones Engineering was hiring people so I sent off a CV. I got an interview and they offered me this apprenticeship. I’m really enjoying it a lot and I’m very happy here.”

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Designer Group works on some of the most prestigious construction projects in Ireland and the UK, some of which include Project Phoenix Diageo, Dublin and 1 Blackfriar, London. In recent years the company has also expanded its operation globally. Our Apprenticeship Mentoring Programme is an essential part of our success. Some of our best apprentices have been retained by us and progressed within the business to become Site Managers and senior members of the organisation. DUBLIN LIMERICK LONDON FRANKFURT

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THE EMPLOYER: “WE WANT TO DEVELOP WELL-ROUNDED APPRENTICES” The Designer Group, a Dublin-based mechanical and electrical contractor with office in the UK and Europe, invests heavily in its apprenticeship programme. Brendan Kearns, a Director with the company, spoke to BRIAN FOLEY about what’s involved.


aking on an apprentice is a four-year commitment for a company like Designer Group. It’s an expensive business but, as Brendan Kearns underlines, it can pay off for the company if the newly qualified tradesman decides to stay put. “We have supervisors here for the past 15 years who started out in the apprenticeship programme,” he says. “There is a definite career path for people if they want it,” he adds. “Some lads want to stay as an electrician but for others they can go on to be supervisors or contracts managers.” Recently Designer Group has been examining its apprenticeship programme, looking at ways of improving the experience for the apprentices. “We’re looking at how they are trained. In the past there was a monthly appraisal for every apprentice with their supervisor,” says Brendan. “Now there are more people involved – myself, human resources and an appraisal team – who visit apprentices on site. “It’s a chance to see how they’re doing and give them a chance to talk. They might have ideas about further learning and training. We’re delighted with this new approach to the scheme

because ultimately it’s about producing well-rounded people who can grow with the company.” The Designer Group has over 50 apprentices on its books, with 15 new apprentices taken on every year. “That first year can be tough,” says Brendan. “We have in-house assessments for the first six months before they start with Solas. We show them the basics of life on a construction site, everything from the types of tools they will see, to different cables to basic health and safety.” Brendan is optimistic about the general construction industry prospects – “there’s a good variance of work”. After successfully completing the electrical work on the Guinness brew house in Dublin, the company was awarded the contract for a new Diageo facility in Ethiopa. “Having a trade is a license to travel and work,” says Brendan, who also started his working life as an apprentice. “It’s a very good career and there will always be a demand for skilled tradespeople.”

JOSEPH CARDIFF, 4TH YEAR APPRENTICE, DESIGNER GROUP Joe is a 4th year apprentice and he completed his Phase 6 in DIT Kevin Street in December 2014. Prior to this he completed his Phase 4 in DIT Dundalk. Joe is currently working on Eaton House, which is a high profile electrical install project under Sisk as the PSCS (Project Supervisor Construction Stage).

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SIOBHAN O’SHEA, ENGINEER WITH CLIFTON SCANNELL EMERSON ASSOCIATES (CSEA) “I have been working in the industry for just over two years. I graduated in September 2012 and started work in CSEA, a multidisciplinary engineering consulting firm, immediately afterwards. I spent a three-month placement in CSEA during the summer prior to my final year in college. After I graduated I was lucky enough to be offered a graduate position within the company. There is a great amount of variety that comes with working as part of a multidisciplinary consultancy. One day you can be designing a drainage system using computer software and the next day you can be on-site lifting manholes. As to what attracted me to work in this profession: I wasn’t sure of what I wanted to do when filing out my CAO form but I had always had an interest in maths, science and the business subjects in school. As I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do in college a course that would offer me variety was appealing. Engineering was the perfect choice. I studied omnibus engineering in UCD Dublin. This is a common first year which allows students to get a taste of the variety of the engineering courses available. After my first year I chose to

specialise in civil engineering which is concerned with the design, construction and maintenance of the physical and natural, built environment. It is not just bridges and road design. Other options available were mechanical, chemical, electrical or engineering. Since I graduated new courses have been made available including energy systems and biosystems engineering. A number of friends from college have gone on to pursue careers in IT, accounting and business as well as a number who stayed within the industry after graduating. I enjoy the variety of the work. No two days are the same and every project is different. Engineering is a field which is constantly changing and so you have to be able to adapt to new ways of thinking. It is great to get to work as part of a team and see projects develop from paper to reality. I would highly recommend this career choice. The variety of opportunities and employers looking to hire engineers is vast. Even if you are not sure that you want to pursue a career within the field, an engineering degree is a great first stepping stone.”

“My father was involved in the construction industry with heavy machinery when I was younger. I suppose that would have given me an interest at an early age. I also learned a lot from my uncle and did a lot of building work and also worked part-time in a plumbing and heating shop. After school I went to the University of Limerick where I studied Construction Management and Engineering – a four year degree course. I went to an external careers guidance person when I was doing my CAO and he told me about the course in UL. It was fairly new and I decided to go for it. In secondary school, I didn’t really have construction subjects but I found the course very interesting right from the beginning. As part of the course we went out and did work experience and I went to Clancy’s to do this. Then I finished the course and, straight afterwards in summer 2010, I started with Clancy’s full-time. Clancy’s have been very, very good and they have really

supported me after they took me on following my work experience. As regards my work for them I started at Phoenix House in Dublin – at Trinity College. That was just off Nassau Street. There was a lot of traffic management and other challenges to be met. I started out on a good footing with the people I worked with there and learned a lot from them and really enjoyed it. Now I am a site manager. I have also worked at Waterford Regional Hospital on another very big project. It is a tough job. You put in a lot more hours than you might expect but when you complete a project on time and everyone is happy – and the client is happy –you feel a great sense of satisfaction. This is also a career where you can gain more qualifications as you go forward. There are huge CPD options there. And Clancy’s have been extremely supportive. Over the past two years I finished my masters in WIT – again in project management.”

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SISK: INVESTING IN PEOPLE The John G Sisk Training Centre in Dublin is one of the premier centres for the training of apprentices in Ireland. The centre is managed by Dave Tracey, who looks after all the apprentices that come through the centre’s doors. The centre and joinery works was established over 40 years ago with the primary objective of providing training for young apprentices in the skills of carpentry and joinery. “Young school leavers who can demonstrate their ability and aptitude to become fully fledged craftsmen are selected for our training programme and then undertake a challenging four year apprenticeship comprising periods of full time study practical workshop experience and exposure to the construction site environment,” says Dave. “The craftsmanship of our young apprentices has been consistently recognised at a national level with their performance in the National Skills competition. In 2009 Richard Sutton and Michael Dunne were placed first and second place respectively in the joinery section. Many of the company’s leading site agents and site managers have successfully completed their training at the centre.

Back in June 2009 Aoife Gormally was Sisk’s first female apprentice. Fast forward six short years later and she now works for the company in the UK as foreman and was recently shortlisted for The Women in Construction Awards. It was giant leap into the unknown for Aoife to come to London. Her drive and ambition meant she wanted to do it because of her thirst for knowledge, it was the logical next step. Interesting projects managed by Sisk were in abundance and despite being nervous, the career progression the move offered was far too big of a draw. At 21 years old Aoife was looking for a flat in a new city, away from family for the first time, and out of her comfort zone at work. She wasn’t just making things anymore, now she was a site foreman and following in the footsteps of her father. Her father is now a senior site manager, and that’s what she dreams of becoming. Actually it’s Managing Director of Sisk, but one step at a time. The first step in that path to success is to go back to college and get a degree in site management, and that’s exactly what Aoife plans to do. In the meantime she is always asking questions, but she’ll only allow herself to ask them once, that’s the rule. What she’s told the first time stays in her head and she uses that information to

Sisk apprentices with Training Centre Manager Dave Tracey (fourth from right)

The centre is proud of its time-honoured tradition of manufacturing Christmas toys for the distribution to hospitals, schools, homes and orphanages across the country. For most of December the staff and craftsmen at the centre give generously of their time and energy in the manufacture of over 450 pieces of traditional style wooden toys bringing joy into the lives of those who are most of need at Christmas

AOIFE GORMALLY, APPRENTICE CARPENTER AND JOINER, NOW FOREMAN WITH SISK just get better and better. Whilst her career in the UK is flourishing, Aoife is conscious that it’s important to foster close relationships back over in Ireland. She is in contact with her old school to arrange a visit back to the students to explain what it is she does on a day to day basis, her amazing career prospects, the level

of responsibility she has, the sense of achievement she gets, and how they too can be inspired to take a career that’s not the obvious choice. There’s a certain stigma attached with choosing apprenticeships instead of college, and she wants to do her bit to help alleviate the misconception that it’s a less desirable route.

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Fire Protection


Instrumentation |


Jones Engineering Group is a leading engineering contracting company offering world class engineering solutions Ireland



| Europe


Middle East

CAREERS IN CONSTRUCTION JAMES DOWLING, ENGINEER WITH CLIFTON SCANNELL EMERSON ASSOCIATES (CSEA) “Coming up to two years in this industry I am currently involved in designing and detailing elements of new buildings and designing extensions to existing buildings. I studied civil engineering in UCD and graduated in 2013. While in UCD I studied the core civil engineering subjects which are structures, soils and hydraulics. I have recently gone back to college to study a part-time Postgraduate Diploma in Environmental Engineering in Trinity College Dublin. I was attracted to civil engineering as you

have a wide variety of work ranging from road construction to buildings to water infrastructure and no two projects are the same. There is also the option of whether you want to work in the outdoors as a site engineer or in an office as a design engineer. From a young age I had a huge interest in how things were constructed. In secondary school I was quite good at the practical subjects like construction studies and technical graphics and also very good at maths. I suppose being good at these subjects guided me into a career in civil

engineering. It is very rewarding to see the elements you design in the office being built and then used by people in their everyday lives. It is a very rewarding career as you are designing projects for the future to enhance the life of people both now and in the future and this also gives you great

LIAM POWER, PLUMBING APPRENTICESHIP. HIGHER DEGREE IN BUILDING SERVICES ENGINEERING, WIT, WINTHROP ENGINEERING “Working in the construction industry is something which had always appealed to me from a young age, having completed my leaving certificate, an additional three or four years of third level education was not something I was ready to face straight away. At the time the construction industry was booming, so beginning a trade seemed like a logical decision. Having researched different trades available, plumbing appealed to me the most, shortly afterwards I registered with FAS and was serving my time as an apprentice

with Winthrop Engineering. I spent my apprenticeship working on the industrial side of construction, which included medical and pharmaceutical projects along with public sector projects. Working with some very talented and experienced individuals meant I gained vast amounts of knowledge which have stood to me to this day. As I approached the end of my apprenticeship, I was adamant I wanted to remain working in the construction industry, and having spoken to senior individuals within

personal satisfaction. There are great prospects as with an engineering degree you can travel and get work all around the world. I suppose a young person in secondary school would need to be good at mathematics or science and the most important aspect would be that they have an interest in engineering.”

Winthrop further options in the industry were made aware to me. I was brought through the roles of project engineers and consultants and all the other opportunities that were available. It was great to see that progression into the design engineering or project management side of the industry was still an option for me following the path I had taken. Having reviewed possible courses and institutes, in 2010 I rejoined full time education studying Building Services Engineering in Waterford Institute of Technology. I found the course to be very interesting as the modules were relevant to my own experience and I could relate to the material being discussed, something which individuals just out of school could not. Following my graduation I returned to the construction industry, once again working with Winthrop Engineering, however, this time as a graduate project engineer. Working with Winthrop

I have been involved in numerous projects for clients including Bausch & Lomb, TEVA and UCC. It was great to put the theory I had learnt in college into practice. Even at this stage of my career, my trade background was a huge advantage to me, whether it was reviewing designs, involvement in commissioning and validation or liaising with specialist subcontractors. As of January this year I commenced a project for GSK Dungarvan utilities department. Elements of my role include generating equipment safety documents and standard operating procedures, maintaining the day to day operation of the facility, organising & liaising with specialist subcontractors carrying out routine checks, repairs and new installations. I firmly believe the combination of hands on site experience and my degree in building services engineering were key to me being given this opportunity. ”

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DEMAND FOR CONSTRUCTION PROFESSIONALS AND APPRENTICES GROWING Whether you are a Junior Certificate student ready to make your senior cycle subject choices, or a Leaving Certificate student, male or female, you have a big decision to make regarding your future education and career, writes ANTOINETTE ROURKE, lecturer with the Department of Construction & Surveying at Dundalk Institute of Technology.

EOIN NORRIS, FINAL YEAR STUDENT AT WIT “I completed my Leaving Certificate in 2011 and am currently in my fourth and final year of Construction Management & Engineering at Waterford Institute of Technology. I have always had an interest in construction and really enjoyed studying this subject in secondary school. I had heard about the course at WIT and the good reputation that it had with employers. I was selected to undertake my seven-month industrial placement with one of the biggest construction companies in the US, Turner Construction. This included working as an assistant superintendent on the renovation of the Marriott Marquis Hotel on Times Square. This involved the construction of the world’s largest billboard. My job covered many areas, including: supervision of the various trades on-site, communicating with the design team to ensure that the work was completed to specification, liaising with staff from the client’s organsiation, ensuring health and safety was strictly enforced, reporting back to my managers in relation to technical and management issues and dealing with various queries and problems on a dayto-day basis. The project was completed in a very short timeframe which meant that things happened very quickly on-site. Communication was a very important part of my work – ensuring that everyone was aware of what was

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happening. Working with Turner Construction on such a high profile and challenging project has given me great confidence both in myself and in working on the construction site. The skills obtained from the placement include communication and management, with an in-depth insight into the administration side of construction along with the supervision of the various trades on-site. My time in New York City has been a life-changing experience: not only to open my eyes to the construction industry but it also showed me what real life is like. Working with a large company like Turner has provided me with essential experience that will be most beneficial to my career in the industry and has given me a good foundation to build upon.’ Working in construction can be very busy and challenging but it is also a very rewarding industry. Many of my classmates worked on very interesting projects for their industrial placement: a fire station in Waterford City, a new secondary school in Gorey, an art gallery in London, a prison in Dublin, a power station near Liverpool. Whether you want to travel or not, there are plenty of opportunities in construction at home and abroad and having a good degree behind you is very important.”

Recent studies (Chartered Institute of Building, Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland and government reports) highlight that not only is there now a considerable increase in demand for construction and property related skills, but that there is also a significant shortage of graduates needed to meet this growing demand. This shortfall is predicted to continue for some time and it is now an excellent time to consider a career in the construction industry. A qualification from an accredited education provider such as Dundalk Institute of Technology can offer students a wide range of programmes in construction related areas including, construction technology, building surveying, civil & environmental engineering. Meanwhile, construction trades such as carpentry & joinery, or plumbing and electrical, provide graduates with excellent job opportunities in the construction and property industry, irrespective of economic conditions. Any student who successfully gains an apprenticeship, and qualifies in a construction trade, or completes a programme of study in a construction/ property related area finds themselves prepared to take up an increasing number of jobs in the traditional sectors of the construction industry. Not only this but these students are also qualified for jobs and careers in emerging areas such as passive building design and construction, energy efficiency and management, sustainable (green) construction, lean construction and modern methods of construction (MMC’s), and building information modelling (BIM). Another graduate survey carried by the Department of Construction & Surveying at the Institute in 2014, showed that 68% of graduates from the department were employed at home in Ireland in construction, property or related fields, with the remaining respondents employed in the UK and internationally. The high level of education received by students during their time in DkIT equips them for the workforce across the world. Employment destinations such as For example, 75% of Australia, New Zealand, recent DkIT graduates Canada, USA as well as in building surveying more exotic places such (2011–2013) were as Qatar and Dubai are successful in gaining likely to appear in DkIT relevant employment in graduate profiles on the their field of study. Of the department’s ‘Linked In’ remaining 25%, many or ‘Facebook’ pages. decided to continue with post-graduate education, while others decided to travel.

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NATIONAL SKILLS: CELEBRATING APPRENTICESHIPS Since the 1950s the National Skills Competition has tested every aspect of the skills and workmanship of apprentices, in a high-pressure environment. The winners have the honour of representing Ireland and their respective trades in what has been dubbed ‘Olympics for tradespeople’ - the prestigious WorldSkills in Brazil in August 2015. To qualify for National Skills, competitors have had to win their local round of National Skills, so they really are the best apprentices in the country. According to Donal Keys, Chair, DIT IrelandSkills National Competition Organising Committee there are huge benefits for companies who allow their apprentices to enter the competition. “We appreciate that it costs money for the company to release an employee for one week to compete in this national competition but we trust that you believe that there are a number of benefits accruing to the company,” he said. “The benefits include being associated with excellence in their specific industry; displaying commitment to youth development to potential employees and apprentices; unique selling point in negotiations with customers and publicly seen to promote and develop apprenticeship skills.” Twenty one different trades are tested including: aircraft maintenance; automobile technology; autobody repair; bricklaying; carpentry; car painting; cookery; heavy vehicle mechanics; painting & decorating; plumbing; polymechanics; plastering and sheetmetal work, amongst others.

Images from the recent National Skills Competition at DIT Bolton Street. The three competitors in the plumbing competition are Ryan Fay (top), Glen Minto (centre), and Peter Whittle (bottom)

ALAN HEFFERNAN, TRANSITION YEAR STUDENT AT COLÁISTE IOGNAID, GALWAY “I was brought up around construction because my father is a builder. I was drawn to it from early on. I used to love going onto sites with dad. Over the years it really grew on me. I love everything about it. Hard physical work is almost like therapy and it is nice to be able to look back and see what you have accomplished in a day’s work. After school I will probably do civil engineering or a trade. At present I am weighing it all up. I don’t want to narrow my options. Transition year allows you to try different things out. I’m loving it and loving the experience that I’m getting. People have all been very open and welcoming to me – very happy to show me the ropes. I was with my dad’s block layer before Christmas. I did some labouring and he showed me how to lay blocks – the real day-today stuff.

At the moment I’m preparing to do a week with an architectural firm. They have been very welcoming as was an engineering firm that I was with, Wills Bros. They were more than happy for me to go out on site and see what it’s like working with them and how they organise things on a big project. Apart from all of that I did a bit of roofing with my father too – so I’ve gained a wide range of experience. I love the plant side of things. I love the diggers, the trucks, the dumpers – in fact you can probably hear the machine going in the background as we talk. In think that things have hit bottom and can only go one way. Also, there are a lot of people retiring while many others have left the country. People say it’s a good time to be going into the industry.”

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p to the end of last year construction activity has tended to be focused in and around Dublin driven by the continued demand for housing and interest and investment in commercial space. Looking at ‘on the ground’ activity in March and works projected to start in April there is evidence that activity is now spreading beyond the metropolis to the regions. Sixty three major projects outside Dublin, totalling €1.3billion, have already started in March or will start in April. These include a 4,500m2 extension to the University of Limerick Sports Arena, a €4.5m processing plant for Kerrygold in Mitchelstown, an €8m housing development in Salthill and over €70m spread across 16 education and medical projects. In Dublin there is a large number of projects starting including €143m in residential projects and over €53m in commercial developments.

The €50m National Indoor Arena in Abbotstown has just begun as has work on a new €13m Holiday Inn Express on Upper O’Connell Street and the €26m National Gallery Refurbishment. Looking further ahead the €53 million Event/Convention Centre in Cork City , a joint venture between Heineken and BAM, is due to begin in the first half of this year. The €25 million Central Bank HQ at North Wall Quay is also due to start shortly and demolition works will begin in Q2 on the €67m Pairc Ui Chaoimh development in Cork. In Northern Ireland 36 projects totalling £378m, across all sectors, have started or are due to start in March and April. For more information visit or phone +353 1 2999 200

MOST VIEWED PROJECTS MARCH 2015 Project National Indoor Arena, Abbotstown, Co. Dublin Pool & Outdoor Facilities, Castlebar, Co. Mayo Housing Development, Raheny, Dublin 5 Burlington House Office Development, Dublin 4 Liffey Valley Shopping Centre Extension, Clondalkin, Dublin 22 Walsh Whiskey Distillery Expansion, Co. Carlow Residential Development, Castleknock, Dublin 15 Integrated Hotel Holiday Complex, Co. Wexford Office Refurbishment (Former Aer Lingus HQ), Dublin Airport Gaol Road Square Residential, Kilkenny Hotel and Café, Dublin 1 Production Building Extension, Dún Laoghaire Harbour Redevelopment, Greystones, Co. Wicklow School Extension, Dundalk Residential Development, Balgriffin, Co. Dublin Residential Development, Shankill, Dublin 18 Housing Development, Saggart, Co. Dublin

Stage Value On Site €50.0m Tender €12.5m Under Appeal €8.4m On Site €34.0m On Site Sub Contractors On Site Under Appeal

€26.0m €25.0m €29.0m €10.6m

Contract Awarded On Site On Site On Site On Site On Site On Site Contract Awarded On Site

€7.0m €1.0m €13.8m €3.2m €200.0m €4.0m €9.1m €9.0m €13.0m

MOST VIEWED PROJECTS MARCH 2015 Most active contractors* • Adston Limited • Amber Infrastructure Group • Balfour Beatty Ireland • BAM Contractors Limited • Bennett Construction Limited • Carillion Plc Head Office • Cavan Developments • Clancy Construction • Cleary Doyle Construction Limited • Farrans Construction Limited • JJ Rhatigan & Company Limited • John Paul Construction Limited • John Sisk and Son Limited • JSL Group Limited T/A Stewart • L & M Keating Limited

• Leamore Construction • M&P Construction Limited • McDermott and Trearty Construction Limited • McKeon Construction Limited • MMD Construction Limited • Monami Construction • Mythen Construction Limited • Ned O’Shea and Sons Construction Limited • O’Callaghan Properties • PJ Hegarty & Sons Limited • Purcell Construction Limited • Walls Construction Figures based on projects published by CIS over past six months

NEW ENERGIA CENTRE NOW OPEN AT HOUSE2HOME (l-r) Michael Martin, House2Home with Tom Parlon, Director General, CIF and Cormac Mannion, Energy Services Manager, Energia The average Irish household can cut its energy bills by up to 60% by improvements to their energy efficiency, according to competitive energy supplier Energia. Energia has opened its new Energia Centre at House2Home, Kileen Road, Dublin and they are encouraging all homeowners to come in and find out about the straightforward and cost effective ways they can improve the energy efficiency of their home. The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) attended the launch and informed householders that the cash value of every grant available under the Government’s Better Energy Homes scheme has been increased by 25% to 50% and bonus payments have been introduced for householders who carry out three or more energy efficiency upgrades. “We always strive to help our customers save money on their electricity and gas bills,” said Cormac Mannion, Energy Services Manager, Energia. “What many people don’t realise is that you can substantially reduce your energy bills by investing in some straightforward efficiency upgrades for your home.” While three-quarters of Irish homes have some form of home insulation, almost two-thirds of households are unaware of how energy efficient their home is, according to a recent home energy survey by competitive energy provider Energia.

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HOW MANY REASONS DO YOU NEED TO START A PENSION? In her regular pensions advice column, SUSAN O’MARA from Milestone Advisory lists the best reasons for taking out a pension.


he dictionary defines a pension as “a fixed amount, other than wages, paid at regular intervals to a person or to the person’s surviving dependents in consideration of past services” or “an allowance, annuity, or subsidy”. This pension, in today’s terms, can refer to either a guaranteed income for life, paid by a pension scheme or life assurance company, or, the distributions drawn from an Approved Retirement Fund (ARF). The majority of people, young and old understand these definitions. The lack of understanding around “pensions” however is that people don’t understand that “they” are responsible for saving a pot of money in order to provide themselves with this “pension”. The state pension in its current form (€12K for an individual) is unlikely to meet the goals of most people and if you are 50 or under, you will have to wait until you are age 68 to receive this. Our increased life expectancies put further pressure on this income to provide for us, potentially for 30 years into retirement. This should be enough to make the idea of pension savings attractive, but if it isn’t, here are 5 more reasons; • Income tax relief - When you make a contribution to a pension savings vehicle, you will get tax relief at your marginal rate. If you are a higher rate tax payer, this means that a contribution of €1,000 into your arrangement will only cost you €600. In effect, it’s like getting €400 extra from the government. Why pass this up? • Tax free investment growth – there are many different types of pension vehicles for people to choose from. They all provide access to a variety of investment funds, which endeavour to achieve growth in excess of inflation while saving for retirement. Unlike other savings and investments where there are exit taxes of 41%, growth on Irish pension funds is exempt from tax. • The early bird catches that worm – The sooner you start making contributions the better. A contribution of €100 per month from age 30 will provide a pension

pot at 65 of approximately €88,000 where as a contribution of €100 per month from age 50 will provide a pension pot of approx. €24,000. Its compound interest and its effective. These figures assume an annual rate of investment return of 4.08% p.a. and a 3% administration charge on contributions. • If your employer contributes to your pension, it’s free money – if you are lucky enough to be included in an employer sponsored arrangement, it means that along with your own contributions that have income tax relief & tax free investment growth, you will also be increasing your pot with employer contributions that haven’t cost you anything. If you are self-employed, or don’t have access to an employer arrangement this doesn’t mean you should be left out in the cold. You should contribute yourself. • The odds of winning the lottery are 1 in 8,145,060 million! There are many cognitive biases that attract people to the lottery. However, one of the main problems with the lottery is our misunderstanding of probabilities. Odds as small as those above, outlining a potential lottery win in the Irish National Lottery are outside the range of our experience of probabilities in everyday life. Simply put, you are highly unlikely to ever win the lottery and you will have to fund for your own retirement. For further information regarding saving for your retirement please contact Susan O’Mara at: Phone: 01-4068020 Milestone Advisory Limited t/a Milestone Advisory is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland




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Streamlining our brands to provide greater clarity for customers




In a major development in the building products market, from December 1st SIG Ireland has re-branded our key business streams under the SIG portfolio. SIG Construction Accessories will be the new name for Longs Construction Services. SIG Facades will be the new name for Facade Systems. SIG Insulation will be the new name for Insulation Distributors Ltd. SIG Interiors will be the new name for CPD. SIG Roofing will be the new name for Capco Roofing. SIG Technical Insulation will be the new name for Irish Insulation Solutions. JS McCarthy and HHI Building Products will remain the same. This move follows extensive research by SIG with customers, suppliers and employees. All branches will be re-branded with the new SIG format, featuring a distinctive new look, while the re-branding will also be marked by a refreshed website and comprehensive marketing campaign. In addition our staff will continue to undergo further training and up-skilling to ensure that they continue to be the most knowledgeable in the industry. The benefits of this rebrand to our customer are • Easier for you to understand our breadth and scale • Easier for you to understand our core specialisms • Reassurance in dealing with widely recognised, market leading brand • Easier access to a wider portfolio of products • Easier to find us, while receiving a consistent customer experience across multiple sites






An even more robust supply chain No matter where in the country, trading with SIG Ireland you will receive: consistently competitive prices, reliable service and technical expertise. We believe these changes will improve the customer experience even further and ensure that SIG Ireland continues to be the specialist building products distributor of choice. For more information please visit our website or email

40 CONSTRUCTION January/February 2015

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From groundworks to the roof and everything in-between, SIG Ireland delivers the full range of specialist building materials for your construction project, nationwide. SIG can bring expert knowledge in specialist products to individual market sectors. Education Health Commercial & Industrial Residential Renovation, Maintenance & Improvement

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NEVER MIND THE PRICE, WE NEED TO FEEL THE QUALITY At the recent Ecobuild event in London members of the construction industry debated issues ranging from the cost of zero carbon to quality housing for the 21st century. BRIAN FOLEY reports.


t the massive Excel venue in east London, thousands of construction professionals gathered to view the latest in ‘green’ and sustainable technology. At one of the many conferences organised throughout the three-day show, speakers debated the merits of justifying zero carbon in the current market. It would appear that the UK market is very similar to Ireland, as difficulties remain in both countries ‘selling’ the benefits of retrofitting homes to consumers who think nothing of purchasing a new kitchen for more than it costs to secure large energy savings over the long term. That was the view of Sir Andrew Stunell, a former Under-Secretary of State at the Department of Communities and Local Government. He told his audience that “we need to adopt the car industry mentality where the last thing you see in the smallest type is the actual cost. The ad is all about the quality. “We have somehow managed to turn housing into solely about price.” He went on to say that the retrofitting sector “needs to work harder getting the message across to consumers” while also claiming that big house developers are a “powerful lobby” who are opposed to high quality. “It appears we can have either fewer houses with higher quality or more houses with less quality.” Richard Bacon, MP, said the culture in Europe was more suited to selling zero carbon or passive homes. “In Berlin, for example, architects live in the apartment blocks they design,” he said. Architect Lynne Sullivan said that retrofitting should be treated as a infrastructure project. She was also of the opinion that we need “a proper definition of what is a good standard energy efficiency home”. She quoted German research that states

consumers only engage with retrofitting when there are other reasons present, such as a new kitchen. Discussing quality housing fit for the 21st century, Wayne Hemingway from HemingwayDesign said one of key components to improving quality is creating competition amongst builders. “In Germany they might have plans to build 500 homes but they would be divided into 75 unit sections, with different builders working in each section,” he said. “This creates competition amongst the developers to create better houses.” He also spoke about how planning used to be “heroic”. It needs to be more creative while at the same time we need to move away from a situation experienced in London where a rented house earns more than the national average wage. “You earn more from not working. That can’t be good for society.” Alison Brooks from Alison Brooks Architects called for an “industry-wide rethink”. “Houses should be considered public cultural artefacts, such is their impact,” she said. She also pointed out the diminishing size of houses: “Georgian homes are regularly converted to hotels. Now think of the post-War house in comparison.” Martyn Evans from Cathedral Group said the system that binds developers, councillors and planners together is broken. “Placemaking doesn’t mean some trees,” he said. The practise of converting ground floor shop space to “resi” is a huge problem, he argued. “Look down, the ground floor is where it’s at!” In summing up, Wayne Hemmingway said developers were stuck in the past. “We’re in a sharing economy now, with the likes of AirBnB and Kickstarter. Developers need to understand these changes.” C

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CORK REPORT: VALUE OF LOCAL CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY €1.1BN The Annual General Meeting of the Cork Branch was held in Maryborough House Hotel, Cork, on the 17th February 2014. Here, CIF Director Southern Region, JOE O’BRIEN, presents edited extracts of his report to members.

T CIF Southern Director Joe O’Brien

he AGM elected John Boylan and Stephen McCarthy as Chairman and Vice-Chairman respectively of the Branch for the coming year. The overall value of construction output in 2014 is estimated at over €10bn. The value of the construction industry in Cork in 2014 is estimated at €1.1bn. At its peak, in 2007 the output of the industry nationally was €37.5bn and represented 23% of GNP. The Irish construction industry now has one of the lowest levels of output of the 19 Euro Construct countries as a percentage of GNP (7% of GNP). The optimum level of construction activity, according to European norms, should be in the region of 12%-15% of GNP. This would mean the industry here should be worth

approximately €15-19bn and employ between 150,000 and 180,000 people. Employment in the industry has dropped from 274,000 in 2007 to 112,400 in 2014. Construction employment in Cork dropped from 35,000 to 14,000 in the same period. Cork has an infrastructural deficit for many years in that is does not have a major sports stadium or event centre capable of holding national and international events. It also has a shortage of high quality third generation office space in suitable locations, for inward investment.


While nationally the civil engineering sector saw a slight increase in activity in 2014, this is not reflected in the Cork region. No new major projects are due to commence in Cork in 2015,

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CORK FACTS & FIGURES So far over 500 companies are fully registered with CIRI and of those 67 are in the Cork region. In addition in excess of 900 companies are at the various stages in the process of registration. Annually, 2,500 units in the Cork area are required. In excess of 200 estates were taken in charge in 2014, compared to an average of 35 per year over previous years.

yet much needed and economically sustainable projects, such as improvements to the Dunkettle Interchange, the N28 to Ringaskiddy, the Macroom By-pass and the M20 Cork-Limerick Motorway are still awaiting the go ahead. All of these are critical infrastructural projects and vitally important to the development of the Cork region and beyond. While it has been indicated that some of these projects are a priority for the NRA, it is vitally important that in 2015 the go ahead is given for these projects, which combined can facilitate:> The relocation of the Port of Cork to Ringaskiddy (and thereby free up land for the docklands). > Link the pharmaceutical, biotech and marine clusters in the Ringaskiddy region with the city and national routes. > Link the three main urban centres of Cork, Limerick and Galway. > Link the major tourism centres of Cork City, West Cork and Kerry. > Ease the growing traffic congestion around the N40. > Facilitate further residential construction and development along the commuter rail line in East Cork.


2014 saw an increase in house prices in the Cork region (10%-15%), and a slight increase in construction activity for the first time in six

years. While house prices are now at 50%-60% of the levels seen in 2006/2007, the cost of construction has increased and the cost of regulation has also increased significantly. There is also a significant shortage of residential properties for sale in the Cork region at present. The latest property price register data indicates that the quantity of property available for sale in Cork city & county is down 37% on stock in July 2014, while stock in the city alone is down 20% since July 2014. A recent survey by the Department of the Environment found that vacant stock levels in Cork city are now 0.64 per thousand, while in Cork county are 5.79 per thousand, and falling rapidly The Cork Home Builders Section subcommittee continue to meet with the Cork County Manager and his senior officials on a quarterly basis. Amongst the items discussed during the year were Local Area Plans; Cork County Council Draft Development Plan and Joint Housing Strategy; development contribution schemes; Part V; unfinished housing estates/taking in charge and Housing Land Supply Study 2014/2022. In relation to taking in charge of estates, Cork County Council advised last year that there was a total of 570 estates not taken in charge, of which it was felt 372 could be taken in charge. Of these,

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(l-r) John Boylan, outgoing Chairman Cork Branch CIF, with Stephen McCarthy, incoming Chairman and Michael Stone, CIF President 135 had applications in process. Of the 372 estates, 250 were of 10 houses or more and 122 estates were of less than 10 houses. Cork County Council, working closely with CIF, made a concerted effort (by adopting a more flexible approach) to take a significant number of estates in charge in 2014. This initiative (which is continuing) has helped to reduce very considerably the number of estates awaiting taking in charge. In excess of 200 estates were taken in charge in 2014, compared to an average of 35 per year over previous years.


The Cork County Development Plan and Joint Housing Strategy was adopted on 8th December 2014 and came into force on 15th January 2015. At the pre-draft stage of the process of the review of the development plan, CIF engaged in consultation with senior planners and made our views known as to what we felt should be in the new development plan. We were particularly strong on density levels and flexibility within density bands to reflect the market situation and also issues in relation to the population targets for the metropolitan Cork area. It was felt in relation to the latter that the target population growth in the city area of the metropolitan Cork area was over ambitious and as a consequence, the target population growth in the county area of the metropolitan Cork area was artificially reduced. After a considerable number of meetings the draft plan was issued. The plan by and large took on board our suggestions in relation to densities. We made further submissions in relation to the population targets and the distribution of these targets and eventually this issue was dealt with in the final plan adopted.

of Cork Branch CIF and Cork Chamber. However, it has expanded over the years and now consists of Cork Chamber, City Manager, County Manager, Director of the IDA, Director of Enterprise Ireland, President of UCC, President of CIT, Chief Executive of Port of Cork, Director of Cork Airport, Director of Education Training Board and Cork Branch CIF. It is recognised as the major group representing all business interests in Cork and plays a vital part in low key lobbying for the development of the Cork region. During the year, the Cork Development Forum met with the Government Secretaries and Assistant Secretaries of all the major Government Departments, to impress on them the development of Cork and what is required. A number of meetings also took place with senior Government Ministers to discuss items in relation to their own specific area of responsibility. In 2014 the Cork Development Forum updated their document entitled “Cork Gateway� which details the priority requirements for the Cork area and the advantages of Cork as a major gateway.


Membership of the Branch continued to grow in 2014 with 24 new members joining the Branch in 2014 On a personal note, I would like to thank the Chairman, the Vice-Chairman, the Honorary Treasurers, the Executive, members and staff for all the assistance and cooperation I have received from each and every one of you during the year. As your Secretary/Director of the Branch I have been presenting a report to the AGM each year for the last 37 years. However, as I will be retiring later this year, sadly this is my last report. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone I worked with in CIF over the years, be it at national level, local level or fellow staff members for the huge support I got from one and all without exception. I can assure you, this was very much appreciated and made my task of looking after your Branch not alone relatively easy, but also enjoyable and rewarding. It was a great pleasure working with you, and for you. I can only but continue to admire the calibre and character of those who work in the industry, from the top to the bottom. C


The Cork Development Forum was an initiative

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LEAN CONSTRUCTION IN PRACTICE One of the hallmarks of our post-recession world is an emphasis on productivity. We’ve learned about waste and we’re not tolerant of it anymore. Now it’s all about value. This might explain why we are hearing so much about Lean Construction. MARTIN FORAN reports.


very so often a way of thinking comes along that seems to capture the mood of the moment. So it is that Lean Construction could be seen as the right philosophy at just the right time. Of course it’s more than just a way of thinking. Philosophies can tend to be sketchy on detail. Not so in the case of Lean Construction. Underpinning it are simple, easy-to-apply principles that manifest in practical behaviours. And they are having a profound effect. “Lean Construction principles are already changing the development process in Ireland,” says acclaimed motivational speaker and business development consultant, Paul McNeive. “All property professionals, through design to construction to estate agents, should ensure that they understand and can operate this new way of working, or they will miss out on opportunities.” But what exactly does it involve – in real terms?

At the heart of the matter are some very simple ideas say proponents of Lean. “The aim of Lean Construction is to continuously improve how we deliver projects by finding solutions to do tasks better, faster or cheaper by focusing on what the client values,” explains Gary Widger, Mercury Engineering’s Head of Innovation and Change. Gary points out that Lean is about working smarter – not harder, by eliminating the obstacles and waste activities that are inherent in the construction industry. It’s the story of human evolution and we have always done this sort of thing as humans. What has changed has to do with the focus that is being brought to bear on this thinking and how these principles are being ordered, shaped and focussed in a way that proponents say is not only good for companies but the industry as a whole.


The issue of waste is central

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to Lean-thinking. Fearghal Scanlon, quality manager with M+W Group says that Lean is about minimising waste in materials, time and effort so that everyone maximises their value on a project. Fearghal offers a simple example: snags and defects. “We’ve had a big focus over the last number of years on eliminating snags,” he says. In raising this issue Fearghal also addresses head-on another important aspect of Lean: challenging accepted cultural norms – the mindset that says, “it’s always been done this way”; the culture that says, “it is ok to finish a job and leave snags”. Safety inductions are normal practice for new people on a site but in the last few years M+W added a quality induction to this event. “Everyone on our sites signed up for it,” Fearghal says. “We had newsletters about quality, posters and helmet stickers, all of this reinforcing the goal of delivering a job with zero defects.” The use of special software meanwhile meant they could track every piece of equipment, every system, every room, every area of the job. “Anyone was able to go in and log what we call a ‘quality observation’,” says Fearghal. If say, there was a scratch on a wall, someone could go in and log that and it would be logged against the subcontractor so they would

immediately be notified of it and it could be fixed in real time. This made it all very transparent. There were also incremental audits involving checks done by supervisors on a weekly basis to see how the work was progressing from a quality point of view. Even the offices were set up differently with everybody in the same area. Says Fearghal: “If I looked after a duct work system for example, the designer for the duct work, the construction supervisor for the duct work and also the owner were all sitting together as a team. “We encouraged that group to walk the site on a weekly basis. They were having discussions about their specific system in real time and could log things on the open software that everyone could access – and you could track that things were being closed.”


Kevin White, Division Manager, Jones Engineering, has been involved in Lean construction since 2005. He agrees it has gathered more momentum in the last few years in that more people are interested in Lean Construction – including clients. “Initially we did a few onsite courses with

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as a result of an internal survey of processes. “One of the top areas identified was electrical containment,” says Kevin. “We would have bought cable trunking in three-metre lengths. It would have been delivered to site and taken off the truck, brought to a workshop, cut by hand and drilled and installed by hand. “Now we have developed a process where we can model all the containment runs using Building Information Modelling (BIM). “We send that model to the manufacturer. Now we get it pre-cut and pre-drilled and we assemble and install it on site and, by applying Lean practices like ‘just in time’ delivery, we only get what we need. “It is only transported once and wheeled on a trolley to where it is installed. Beforehand, it could have been handled about six or seven times. “You have to initially ask the guys on the ground what processes are causing the most problems.”


Kevin White, Jones Engineering the BRE,” says Kevin. “They were practical courses. The system that was implemented then was called CLIP: The Construction Lean Improvement Programme. “We did it from the bottom up rather than the top down. By looking at how they worked and implementing Lean Construction our people developed ‘eyes for waste’. When we carry out work we are more productive “The bottom line is that seventy per cent of our work is labour – in general –depending on what sector you are constructing in. “So, if your labour force is looking at how they do work every day and supervision is tuned in from a Lean perspective you are going to get higher productivity. “A large factor of our growth as a company during the recession was Lean-based. It kept us competitive while allowing us to retain our margins. It has allowed us to be competitive on projects by employing Lean beforehand. “I look at the scope of work and employ Lean practices to the tender. That allows us to be competitive in a tight market.” A practical example of Lean behaviour came about

Gary Widger also mentions BIM: “BIM is a Lean solution that aims to deliver a clash-free design prior to starting installation. Defects or rework is a critical waste we want to eliminate – 60% of our revenue is modelled in BIM and it is a crucial aspect of our business going forward. “Once we have a 3-D BIM design we can modularise and fabricate a significant value of the project off-site. Off-site is another Lean solution as it effectively allows us perform our work in a manufacturing environment. “We feed many of our jobs from our best in class off-site fabrication facility in Newbridge. “Working with the Kerry Group, Innovation Lab we have used off-site modularisation successfully – a module could be 40 metres long – built in a factory, and then moved onto site and placed in position.” Lean concepts can apply to any part of the organisation, points out Gary: “Mercury’s in-house Lean Programme, ‘Leaders in Lean’ has seen hundreds of employees complete yellow or green belt qualifications across all areas of our business. “Our vision is that every Mercury project manager will be a qualified Lean green belt and our company is the most accredited company in Ireland. “Every week our ‘ThisisLean’ campaign shares a Lean improvement with thousands of our employees across Europe. “To me Mercury has always been doing it – what has changed is that Lean is emerging as the global term for productivity,” Gary explains. “Lean is crucial for winning tenders and being competitive, leading multinational clients want to work with Lean partners as it leads to more successful outcomes. “Although the first step in becoming Lean is to look after your own house,” says Gary, “there is even more potential to eliminate waste when we interact with our construction partners.” C

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CIF training and education programmes for April - May 2015 May



Course Title/Venue Course Code

Start Date

End Date

CIRI CPD Plan CIF Construction Hse Canal Road Dublin 6

CCP 12

9th April 2015 Thursday

Scaffold Design course CIF Construction House, Canal Road, Dublin 6

SDC 2583

10th April 2015 10th April 2015 Friday Friday

08.30am – 12.30pm

CIRI induction course CIF Construction Hse Cork

13th April 2015 13th April 2015 Monday Monday

10.00am - 13.00pm

QQI Project Supervisor Construction Stage CIF Construction House, Canal Road, Dublin 6

16th April 2015 30th April 2015 Thursday Thursday

08.30am – 17.00pm

CIRI induction course CIF Construction Hse Canal Road Dublin 6

15th April 2015 15th April 2015 Wednesday Wednesday

9.00am - 12.30pm

CIRI CPD Plan Tullamore Court hotel Tullamore

CCP 13

15th April 2015 15th April 2015 Wednesday Wednesday

9.00am - 12.30pm

CIF IOSH Managing Safety in Construction Radisson Hotel

MSIC 2520

16th April 2015 14th May 2015 Thursday Thursday

09.30am – 16.30pm Limerick

CIF IOSH Managing Safety in Construction CIF Construction House, Canal Road, Dublin 6

MSIC 2522

16th April 2015 14th May 2015 Thursday Thursday

09.30am – 16.30pm

Site Management Safety Training Scheme CIF Construction House, Canal Road, Dublin 6

SMSTS 2591

20th April 2015 24th April 2015 Monday Friday

09.30am – 16.30pm

CIRI induction course Castletroy Park Hotel limerick

21st April 2015 21st April 2015 Tuesday Tuesday

08.30am – 11.30pm

CIRI induction course Radisson Hotel Athlone

22nd.April 2015 22nd April 2015 Wednesday Wednesday

9.30am - 12.30pm

CIRI CPD Plan TF Royal Hotel Castlebar

CCP 14

22nd April 2015 22nd April 2015 Wednesday Wednesday

9.00am - 12.00pm

CIF IOSH Project Supervisor Design Process CIF Construction House, Canal Road, Dublin 6

PSDP 2523

23rd April 2015 24th April 2015 Thursday Friday

08.30am – 17.00pm

CIF Core Safety Management Programme Renewal/CPD CIF Construction House, Canal Road, Dublin 6

CSMP 2524

24th April 2015 24th April 2015 Friday Friday

08.30am – 13.00pm

CIF Core Safety Management Programme Renewal/CPD CIF Construction House, Little Island Cork

CSMP 2525

30th April 2015 30th April 2015 Thursday Thursday


PSCS 2521

9th April 2015 Thursday

Course times 9.00am - 12.30pm

Builders Holiday: 3rd April Good Friday / 6th - 10th April Easter Monday CIF QQI Project Supervisor Construction Stage CIF Construction House, Little Island Cork

PSCS 2526

6th May 2015 Wednesday

20th May 2015 Wednesday

08.30am – 17.00pm

CIRI CPD Plan CIF Construction Hse Little Island Cork

CCP 15

6th May 2015 Wednesday

6th May 2015 Wednesday

9.00am - 12.30pm

CIRI induction course Radisson Blu Galway

7th May 2015 Thursday

7th May 2015 Thursday

9.30am - 12.30pm

CIRI CPD Plan CIF Construction Hse Canal Road Dublin 6

CCP 16

7th May 2015 Thursday

7th May 2015 Thursday

9.00am - 12.30pm

CIF IOSH Managing Safety in Construction CIF Construction House, Canal Road, Dublin 6

MSIC 2528

13th May 2015 10th June 2015 Wednesday Wednesday

09.30am – 16.30pm

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Course Title/Venue Course Code CIRI CPD Plan Radisson Hotel Athlone

CCP 17

Start Date

End Date

Course times

13th May 2015 13th May 2015 Wednesday Wednesday

9.00am - 12.30pm


CIRI induction course CIF Construction Hse Canal Road Dublin 6

14th May 2015 14th May 2015 Thursday Thursday

9.00am - 12.30pm


QQI Project Supervisor Construction Stage CIF Construction House, Canal Road, Dublin 6

PSCS 2529

14th May 2015 28th May 2015 Thursday Thursday

08.30am – 17.00pm

IOSH Project Supervisor Design Process CIF Construction House, Canal Road, Dublin 6

PSDP 2530

14th May 2015 15th May 2015 Thursday Friday

08.30am – 17.00pm

Scaffold Board Inspection CIF Construction House, Canal Road, Dublin 6

SBI 2584

15th May 2015 15th May 2015 Friday Friday

CIRI CPD Plan Ormond Hotel Kilkenny

CCP 18

20th May 2015 20th May 2015 Wednesday Wednesday

9.00am - 12.30pm

SMSTS 2592

25th May 2015 29th May 2015 Monday Friday

09.30am – 16.30pm


Site Management Safety Training Scheme CIF Construction House, Canal Road, Dublin 6

PSDP 2531

28th May 2015 29th May 2015 Thursday Friday

08.30am – 17.00pm


IOSH Project Supervisor Design Process CIF Offices, Little Island, Co. Cork


CIRI induction course Radisson Blu Sligo

29th May 2015 29th May 2015 Friday Friday

CIF Core Safety Management Programme Renewal/CPD CIF Construction House, Canal Road, Dublin 6

29th May 2015 29th May 2015 Friday Friday



CSMP 2532

08.30am – 13.00pm

For further details email: or call 014066019 / 01 4066071.





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Rhino Load Deck System comes to Ireland


iteserv Access and Formwork, specialists in the provision of non-mechanical construction equipment, has launched the popular Rhino Load Deck range into its depots in Ireland following its success in the UK. One of the most stable systems on the market, the bespoke fall prevention system is favoured by bricklayers and house builders due to its ability to take a load up to 600kg/m2 whilst minimising the risk of a fall from height. Freestanding and safe up to 3m, the Rhino Deck does not need a wall for lateral support which makes it suitable for a variety of trades. It is the first time the Rhino Load Deck system will be available to hire or buy through Siteserv Access and Formwork in Ireland with its

C Pictured left to right: Joe McLoughlin (Construction Director), Eamon Booth (Managing Director), and Paul Dennis (UK Director), John Paul Construction.

Construction industry golf for 2015

Cork, Dublin and Galway depots listed as the first stockists. “The demand for Rhino Load Deck in Ireland is increasing and we need to cater for that demand,” says Graham Henderson, Siteserv Access and Formwork’s Regional Manager in Ireland. “Health and safety is at the forefront of every product we supply and Rhino Load Deck is already compliant. Whereas many customers have bought scaffolding and access in the past and stored it whilst not in use, this system is just as cost-effective to hire as it is to buy.” Easier to install, dismantle, move and store than traditional birdcage scaffold, two workmen can fit 50m2 in an hour as its robust, precision components fit together securely without using hand tools.

John Paul Construction are pleased to announce the recent appointment of Joe McLoughlin as Construction Director for the Irish market and Paul Dennis as UK Director. With over 30 years industry experience in managing and delivering major construction projects in Ireland, UK and South Africa, Joe brings a wealth of expertise and capability across all sectors including industrial and pharmaceutical. He has served at director level for the past 16 years. Paul has over 28 years experience in the UK construction industry including 12 years

Construction industry golfers and their friends and families recently visited Lahinch Golf Club to help fundraise over €16,000 for Crumlin Hospital. The Dublin Building & Allied Trades Golfing Society was founded in 1928 and is still very active to this day. New members are welcome - builders, subcontractors, suppliers, construction professionals and all in the construction sector who like a game of golf up to four times annually are welcome to join and there is no joining fee! Outings to Luttrellstown, Greystones, The Castle and

in senior leadership roles as Director of Mace Limited and Costain Limited. Commenting on the appointments, Managing Director Eamon Booth stated: “We are delighted to have Joe and Paul on our team. They each bring with them a wealth of experience in the industry together with extensive knowledge of the markets and sectors we operate in. Their appointment will significantly strengthen our existing senior team ensuring that we continue to provide a market leading client service while pursuing our strategy for growth over the coming years.”

Woodbrook are planned, with the first outing in mid April. Kind sponsors include Roadstone, Kilsaran and many other leading construction related firms. To join please contact the Hon Sec. Sean Woodcock on 086 8537287. The next visit to Lahinch to support Crumlin is planned for 23rd October 2015. If interested please contact John Donnelly with a team of four. The contact number is 087 9673535 or email

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INDUSTRY NEWS Protecting our people and our planet – a shared initiative


hat do you get when you gather ordinary people from the entire supply chain who do extraordinary things in their working lives? Sharing of collective knowledge? An educational exchange of ideas? A productive think-in? The answer is all of the above. That was the aim of the January Winter Summit 2015 in Dublin, a joint initiative of access specialists Easi UpLifts and manufacturers Bronto Skylift, where they gathered valued customers across various sectors who face the challenges of working at height and the use of truckmounted access machinery. It was the first joint event organised by both Easi UpLifts and Bronto Skylift who are working in partnership to develop the truck-mounted industry. The two-day event was an open and honest sharing of pain points and a celebration of shared core values and a vision for the future. It included presentations and representations across the gamut of stakeholders from the manufacturers, to the suppliers, the planners, the buyers, the operators, the technicians, right through to the end user. They shared some interesting case studies including building aftercare on a 47-storey For further information construction involving high risk glass units. contact: Due to the height and aspects of the building, Lorraine Mc Ardle, wind conditions could vary. And while the truck Marketing Manager, mount could easily move without much effort Easi UpLifts, Ph +353 to another part of the building, the BMU was (0)1 691 4042 Email: only able to work on one elevation, weather Lorraine.mcardle@ permitting. Web: Like most other sectors who have to work outdoors, the construction sector is at the mercy

of the weather. However the flexibility of using a truck mount allowed workers to keep working safely on windy days when they had to stand down abseillers and BMU workers. Workers also had more control over the direction of the boom in a way that they did not have with the abseiller or BMU, and could get through the work quicker as a result. All of this ultimately led to major cost savings for the client. However, due to the height of the building it was necessary to adopt a blended work approach with rope access specialists, which led to an interesting discussion on how rope access specialists can work alongside access companies. By acknowledging each other’s specialist skills, both teams can provide a more efficient and safer service for their customers. There were also some interesting discussions on how to improve the attachments and baskets, particularly in relation to glazing specialists. And some lively debates about legislation and the use of descenders in emergency situations, as well as some serious discussions about keeping everyone on the job safe. Emergencies may be rare, but emergency planning is essential. By the end of the two days, it was obvious everyone was on the same page. “We are bringing efficiency and quality standards to the next level so that you can work safely and efficiently,” said Antti Rauhala, Deputy Managing Director at Bronto Skylift. In the words of Fergus McArdle, Managing Director at the Easi UpLifts Group: “We all want to do the right thing. We need to work together to make working at height safe and easy for people while protecting the planet”.

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31/03/2015 20:26

Groundforce stops the earth moving on St. Stephen’s Green


ine of Groundforce’s 250 tonne capacity MP250 hydraulic props have been used to support the basement excavation for Canada House, a new office development with MB McNamara Construction as main contractor on the corner of Earlsfort Terrace and St. Stephen’s Green in Dublin. Hegarty Demolition selected Groundforce equipment to provide support to secant piled walls prior to carrying out an 11.0 m deep basement dig. Hegarty Demolition also installed, adapted and removed the hydraulic props in accordance with Groundforce’s specifications. The city centre location required that the groundworks design met tight deflection constraints due to the site’s close proximity to an adjacent multi-storey office building and neighbouring properties. Because of the limited space available on site for the proposed development, the groundworks designer, Byrne Looby, was required to limit pile sizes wherever possible in order to provide the largest basement footprint achievable. As a result the piles vary in diameter from 900mm to 1,500mm, depending on their location around the perimeter of the basement. Groundforce supplied nine of its MP250 props to support the retaining wall at capping-beam level. “Four of the MP250s are arranged as knee-braces, one across each

corner of the excavation,” explains Groundforce general manager Liam Brew. “Another five were used as crossprops spanning 25m across the excavation.” The original design required six cross-props, but this was reduced to five and the spacing between the two centre props increased from 7m to 8m to allow space for the building’s concrete stair-core to rise through the centre of the excavation. “This means that while three of the MP250 crossprops use the standard 600mm diameter tubes, the middle two are fitted with 1,200mm diameter ‘super’ tubes to compensate for the missing prop,” says Brew. The 10m-long knee-braces are attached to the capping beam via custom-designed steel stud-plates, rather than the usual method of cast-in studs. “On this project, the capping beam is part of the permanent structure and is densely packed with steel reinforcement. So instead of casting the studs into the beam, as we normally do, we had to design special 1.5m-long steel plate fixings and bolt them to the beam,” he adds. Close liaison with the permanent works designer ensured that the fixing bolts do not interfere with the rebar inside the beam. Using a proprietary system such as Groundforce’s MP250s was both quicker to deploy and more practical than the alternative, says Liam. “The alternative was to install a bespoke welded steel frame. It was feasible, but couldn’t be guaranteed to meet the deflection criteria. We could hydraulically pre-load our props before the excavation started, and ensure that there was minimal settlement due to lateral loadings”, he says. The propping system was installed in October 2014 and the last prop was removed in March.

Gutex wood fibre warm roof insulation Gutex wood fibre insulation boards are made from post-industrial recycled wood chips and shavings of spruce and pine. The boards are produced by using an innovative dry method, which is much less energy intensive than the conventional wet method and minimizes additions of binders and hydrophobic wax. The result is the ultimate natural insulation material – insulation with a wood content of 94-96% that has superb properties for interior and exterior applications. Gutex produce many forms of woodfibre insulation designed with specific characteristics and features for each element of the building fabric. G Gutex woodfibre insulation may be applied as a continuous insulation & weather resistant layer on a roof or behind rain screens on wall. External thermal insulation

composite systems are also available as well as interior insulation/plaster systems and acoustic insulation boards for floors, walls and roofs. Gutex manufacture two thermal insulation systems which may be applied on the outside of pitched roofs, Multiplex Top (22mm-35mm thick) and Ultratherm (50mm-160mm thick). The biggest benefit of Gutex boards is that once they are applied the building envelope can now keep the elements out in one fast and simple step. When the boards are applied the tongue and groove (T&G) edges

ensure a fast and accurate installation. As the applicator does not need to line the vertical edges of the boards up with the rafters below, cutting is minimised, reducing waste and maximising application speed. The T&Gs also assure that the boards are waterproof and wind-tight from the outset. The building is now protected from the elements during the interior construction phase. Butt joints are primed and taped with proprietary pro clima seals. Gutex warm roof insulation systems can be left exposed for up to 12 weeks. The final cladding/roofing should be added within three months. More information regarding GUTEX products is available from: Web: Mail: Phone: 046 94 32104

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01/04/2015 18:36


Taosieach Enda Kenny, TD, at the Combilift facility in Monaghan

Combilift investment to create an additional 200 jobs during construction period


n Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD and the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton TD announced the creation of 200 new jobs over the next five years by Combilift as part of a €40 million investment by the company over the next two years in building a new, state-of-the-art, greenfield manufacturing site. The majority of the 200 jobs to be created in the next five years

will be for skilled technicians and design engineers. A further 200 jobs will be created during the two year construction period of the new facility. This investment programme has been supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through Enterprise Ireland and will position Combilift to double its current €150 million turnover over the next five years. The company currently employs over 300 people between its current facilities in Monaghan town and in Clontibret.

Galway Harbour Gus McCarthy (left) outlines ambitious Galway Harbour development plans to CIF Regional Manager Justin Molloy. At recent oral hearings about the proposed redevelopment the CEO of Galway Harbour, Eamon Bradshaw, said ships could only enter and leave the port in a two-hour window every 12 hours. Supporters of the development say the port will enter into terminal decline if the present situation is allowed to continue. Mr McCarthy, who is a planner with McCarthy Keville Sullivan, said the planned extension is the “least damaging option environmentally”. For more information about Galway Harbour visit www.

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Sennebogen moves to Pat O’Donnell


at O’Donnell & Co has announced a new strategic partnership with Sennebogen Maschinenfabrick, manufacturers of material handling machines and equilibrium handlers that will be distributed by Pat O’Donnell & Co., from March 2015, throughout the island of Ireland. Pat O’Donnell & Co, distributors of Volvo construction equipment for 45 years, have four locations in Ireland, Dublin, Cork, Galway and Portadown. Sennebogen’s machines range from a service weight of 19 to 270 tonnes and a reach of 10 metres to 40 metres and supply a wide divergence of sectors in the Irish market, including timber handling,

waste, port handling, construction, rail handling and carrying. “We have been aware for some time of Sennebogen machines, we have customers in common and our customers in a variety of sectors have been impressed by the quality and performance of Sennebogen machines,” says Pat O’Donnell, Managing Director of Pat O’Donnell & Co. “We were also aware that there was a gap in our product offering and more customers were looking for material handling machines. We are confident that we can increase Sennebogen’s market share in Ireland as our after-sales offering is unrivalled in Ireland and this partnership of excellent manufacturing and our outstanding parts and service availability will lead to greater sales.”

pro clima launch Contega Solido plaster


asonry construction is still the most common method of building in Ireland. It is widely accepted that to attain optimum levels of airtightness in masonry construction the internal block must be plastered continuously with a suitable plaster layer. In order to limit air leakage, it is critical that the plaster on the inside of external walls is continuous and bonds to adjacent building elements continuously without gaps or cracks occurring. Windows and door junctions are often highlighted as one of the primary areas where air leakage occurs in buildings, particularly in masonry constructions where the internal plaster layer forms the airtightness layer. It is critical that any solution used to achieve an airtight connection between the window and the door, is executable with the minimum complexity and maximum effectiveness. It is with this in mind, that pro clima have developed a new range of Contega Solido airtightness plaster sealing tape.

Contega Solido is an internal airtightness and vapour control sealing tape which may be used to seal windows, doors or even beams penetrating the external block walls, directly to masonry or timber surfaces. Following this the tape may be plastered directly on the specialist fleece layer simplifying the number of steps required to attain an airtight seal. Contega Solido features 2 release papers, allowing installers to “activate” individual parts of the glue, for ease of installation at critical junctions. For more information or samples concerning the pro clima range of Solido tapes or any other airtightness & windtightness inquiries please contact Ecological Building Systems: Web: Phone: 046 94 32104 Mail:

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Monday 7th September


Ardilaun House Hotel, Galway, 6pm Contact: Justin Molloy 091 502 680 Tuesday 8th September


Bloomfield House Hotel, Mullingar, 8pm Contact: Justin Molloy 091 502 680 Wednesday 16th September


Mount Errigal Hotel, Letterkenny, 8pm Contact: Justin Molloy 091 502 680 Thursday 24th September Tuesday 14th April

Tuesday 26th May



Wednesday 15th April

Wednesday 24th June

Mount Errigal Hotel, Letterkenny, 8pm Contact: Justin Molloy 091 502 680

Mount Errigal Hotel, Letterkenny, 8pm Contact: Justin Molloy 091 502 680

Construction House, Dublin, 11am Contact: Gillian Heffernan 01 406 6016

Construction House, Dublin, 11am Contact: Gillian Heffernan 01 406 6016

NORTH WEST BRANCH MEETING Sligo Park Hotel, Sligo, 8pm Contact: Justin Molloy 091 502 680 Tuesday 13th October




Construction House, Dublin, 11am Contact: Gillian Heffernan 01 406 6016 Monday 2nd November

Thursday 16th April

Thursday 25th June

TF Royal Hotel, Castlebar, 8pm Contact: Justin Molloy 091 502 680

Sligo Park Hotel, Sligo, 8pm Contact: Justin Molloy 091 502 680




Ardilaun House Hotel, Galway, 6pm Contact: Justin Molloy 091 502 680 Tuesday 3rd November

Tuesday 21st April

Monday 29th June

Castletroy Park Hotel, Limerick, 4.30pm Contact: Conor O’Connell 021 4351410

Ardilaun House Hotel, Galway, 6pm Contact: Justin Molloy 091 502 680




Tullamore Court Hotel, Tullamore, 8pm Contact: Justin Molloy 091 502 680 Wednesday 11th November

Wednesday, 22nd April

Tuesday 30th June

Marina Hotel, Waterford, 7pm Contact: Conor O’Connell 021 4351410

Tullamore Court Hotel, Tullamore, 8pm Contact: Justin Molloy 091 502 680




Mount Errigal Hotel, Letterkenny, 8pm Contact: Justin Molloy 091 502 680 Thursday 19th November

Monday 18th May

Tuesday 7th July

Ardilaun House Hotel, Galway, 6pm Contact: Justin Molloy 091 502 680

Construction House, Dublin, 11am Contact: Gillian Heffernan 01 406 6016



NORTH WEST BRANCH MEETING TF Royal Hotel, Castlebar, 8pm Contact: Justin Molloy 091 502 680 Tuesday 24th November

Tuesday 19th May

Tuesday 1st September

Hodson Bay Hotel, Athlone, 8pm Contact: Justin Molloy 091 502 680

Construction House, Dublin, 11am Contact: Gillian Heffernan 01 406 6016




Construction House, Dublin, 11am Contact: Gillian Heffernan 01 406 6016

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In 2010 emerging markets accounted for 47.6% of global output, a share that is estimated to rise to 52.8% in 2015 and then forecast to reach 56% by 2020, with much of this growth driven by emerging markets in the Middle East. Timetric forecasts the top five fastest growing markets in 2016-2020:  

1. QATAR Pictured at a recent CIF Roadshow were (l-r) Michael Keenan, CIF North West Branch Chairman, Tom Parlon, CIF Director General, Susan O’Mara, Milestone Advisory & Tom Currid, Tom Currid Construction. Susan presented the winner of the Roadshow raffle Tom Currid with a Milestone Advisory sponsored iPad.


Ok, so this survey was conducted in the UK, but it’s still heartening to read about more women choosing construction as their preferred career. As part of the study, the team at polled a total of 874 construction company owners and employers who had at least ten years’ experience, as well as a further 503 female workers currently employed within the construction industry.  Construction employers were initially asked if they currently employ any women in construction roles within their businesses, with just 22% revealing that they do so. Of the remaining 78% of employers, the majority (63%) said that they would welcome female workers within their companies, whilst 38% admitted that they would be cautious of how employing a female would differ to employing males, but would nonetheless give a woman a job were she the best candidate for a position.  When all employers where then asked ‘have you noticed an increase in the amount of females showing an interest in, applying for or securing jobs at your company within the past year?’ the vast majority of respondents (76%) stated that this was true.  Next, the group of female construction employees were asked if they’d ever felt prejudice or discriminated against since deciding on their careers, with almost two thirds (64%) admitting that they had done. When then asked if they had witnessed a noticeable increase in the amount of fellow females looking for work within the industry, the majority (62%) agreed.  In a bid to understand the reasons behind the recent surge in the amount of women interested in construction roles and trades, researchers asked female employees to choose the biggest incentive(s) behind their decisions to enter their careers from a list provided. The most popular reasons emerged as follows: 1.   Earning potential associated with the industry - (61%) 2.   The wide range of construction apprenticeship opportunities from my local colleges/schools - (43%) 3.   The industry appealed to me over anything else - (26%) 4. A family member/friend encouraged me to give it a go - (18%) 5.   To prove women can do stereotypically ‘male’ jobs just as well (11%)

Qatar’s construction industry is predicted to be the fastest growing in the world in 2016-2020, maintaining the position it held in the preceding five-year period. Double-digit growth in recent years has been driven by massive public investment in infrastructure projects, in part aimed at diversifying the economy from one that is overly dependent on the oil sector. Over the coming five years, growth will continue to be driven by the National Vision 2030 and the hosting of the 2022 Fifa World Cup.


The construction industry in Saudi Arabia will remain among the fastest growing in the world, supported by investment in buildings and infrastructure to diversify the economy. The drop in oil prices could impact on the viability of new energy projects. However, the country’s fiscal position is robust and thus public investment plans are not expected to be greatly affected.  


The construction industry in the UAE started to recover in 2013, having contracted over the previous three years and the outlook is one of continued growth. Large-scale infrastructure projects, including the expansion of the Dubai metro and the planned Abu Dhabi metro and light-rail network, will help to drive industry growth, as will the hosting of EXPO 2020 in Dubai. The UAE will also continue to attract investment in the commercial building sector given its rapid emergence as a major hub for regional and global business and tourism.  


The construction industry in Colombia has been expanding at a rapid rate in recent years, by an average of 9.5% a year in real terms in 2011-2015. The property market is also booming, in part reflecting increased confidence in the economy. With the government intending to spend heavily on infrastructure developments, while encouraging private investment under PPPs, construction growth will remain high, making it the fastest growing industry outside of the Middle East.


Vietnam’s construction industry has returned to a relatively healthy condition following the decline in 2011 and the collapse in the property market. However, the dominance in the economy of the state sector over the more dynamic private sector will prevent a more rapid recovery. Nevertheless, in 2016-2020 the industry will expand by an annual average of 6.4% in real terms, as the economy regains growth momentum and foreign investment confidence returns. C

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Volvo’s full range of construction equipment exclusively available from Pat O’Donnell & Co. Pat O’Donnell & Co. are the sole agents for the Volvo CE’s full range of construction equipment in Ireland. Contact us for Sales, Parts and Service information on the following ranges of Volvo CE equipment: PAVERS ASPHALT COMPACTORS SOIL COMPACTORS PIPELAYERS MILLING MACHINES COMPACT EXCAVATORS


24 HOURS, 364 DAYS A YEAR FOR 45 YEARS HEAD OFFICE California Heights, Chapelizod, Dublin 20 Tel: 01 616 1000

CORK Sallybrook, Glanmire, Co. Cork Tel: 021 482 1288

GALWAY Carnmore West, Oranmore, Co. Galway Tel: 091 790 722

PORTADOWN Seagoe Industrial Area, Portadown, Co. Armagh, BT635QE Tel: 028 3833 7222


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Formwork & Access Solutions Hire & Sales

> Wall Shutter - Trio & Handset > Radius Shutter – Rundflex > Slab Deck – Multiprop & Skydeck > Climbing – CB240 & FB180 > Combisafe Protection Systems

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> Smartguard Handrail Trestle System > Scaffolding > Ladders & Alloy Towers > Heavy Duty Shoring > Fencing & Barriers

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Construction March/April 2015  
Construction March/April 2015  

The March/April 2015 issue of Construction magazine, the official title of the Construction Industry Federation in Ireland