More than half (53 per cent) of the professional construction industry in Cork would work for free if it meant they could secure work in their profession. That’s one of the main findings of a survey by Hays, the world’s leading recruiting experts in qualified, professional and skilled people, who spoke to senior qualified individuals across Ireland in September of this year. The purpose of the research was to quantify the levels of retraining taking place within the industry and attitudes towards it.
The research also revealed that the average salary for construction professionals has reduced significantly since its peak in 2007, from €40,000 to €30,000. Three in five respondents said they are no longer working within their profession.
“These figures are alarming when you consider that four fifths of our respondents are over 30 years of age and 67 per cent spent more than four years gaining their professional qualification”, said Niall Toland, Senior Manager for Hays Construction & Property in the Munster and Connacht region.
When asked about training, three in five (59 per cent) of qualified construction professionals in Cork believe FAS courses are poor or of no benefit in relation to improving employment prospects. One quarter are currently engaged in non-construction related training.
The results also showed that 81% believe financial constraints have stopped them from training, compared to 78 per cent nationally. More than three in five (63 per cent) said training resources in their geographical area are not adequate.
“The perception is that for retraining to improve their prospects they really need to be studying at degree or masters level. For an unemployed engineer or architect, trying to support a family, this is often a bridge too far financially” added Toland.
“Construction professionals are clearly serious about up-skilling, but feel the resources that are currently available to them are inadequate. It’s important that any state sponsored training provides professionals with the skills required to get employment”.