Fine Gael TD for Dublin Fingal, Alan Farrell, has welcomed recent figures which show an increase of 18.5% in the number of jobs in the construction sector since this time last year.
“The latest CSO figures show that 126,000 people are now employed in the construction sector, that’s an increase of almost 20,000 in twelve months. These are national figures but the jobs are distributed across the country, including here in the North County.
“The construction sector suffered a massive decline when the economy collapsed in 2008. At that time, 280,000 people were employed in the sector and this dropped to below 100,000 by 2012. A healthy economy must have a vibrant and sustainable construction sector.
“The Minister for Housing, Planning and Construction, Paudie Coffey, published the Construction 2020 strategy last year and one of the key actions in that strategy was the addition of 60,000 jobs in the sector by 2020 and to increase housing supply to meet demand. These employment figures clearly indicate that substantial progress is being made towards achieving these goals.
“The number of houses being built is increasing and it is clear that a greater degree of building is planned as the number of commencement notices has more than doubled in comparison with 2014. The number of planning permissions in the first quarter of 2015 has increased by 97% when compared to the same period in 2014.
“In the North County we have many highly skilled construction workers who, for too many years, have struggled to find work. We have also lost many to emigration due to the property fuelled bubble propped up by the previous government. Now we are starting to see growth in this area and a greater level of opportunities for construction workers in Dublin Fingal.
“I am confident that the construction sector in the North County can continue to grow, but this growth must take place in a sensible manner. We must guard against returning to the boom and bust model that failed the Irish people in the past. By implementing Construction 2020 and closely monitoring developments in the construction sector I believe we will see responsible and sustainable development across the North County.”