New children’s hospital helping locals secure employment
Main phase of construction has recently begun
Ross Burns from Inchicore, an engineer’s assistant on the new children’s hospital. “When I finish working here I plan to go back to college to study civil engineering and to pursue a career in construction.” Photograph: Julien Behal
The new children’s hospital in the south inner city is helping some in the local community to secure employment as the main phase of construction gets under way.
The new €1 billion national paediatric hospital is being developed on the campus of St James’s Hospital in Dublin 8. Preparatory work on the site was recently completed while the hospital is scheduled to be opened by 2022.
Following an independent report in 2015, a community benefit programme was established to ensure local employment and training opportunities were maximised.
Over the last year, four people from the Dublin 8 and 12 area have been employed full-time in roles such as engineer’s assistants, site administrators and general operatives. A further 14 were hired for shorter periods.
At least 100 others will be employed over the next four years, with the opportunities aimed at the unemployed, young people and those new to the construction industry.
Construction contractor BAM is organising training and mentoring of the new workers as well as work experience placements for students during the construction phase. During the preparatory phase, BAM sourced a third of contracts from companies based in Dublin 8 and 12.
Ross Burns (21) from Inchicore has been working as an engineer’s assistant on the site for the last 12 months.
“I studied architecture for a couple of years but I found it hard to get work in the area, so I ended up working in a shop across the road from the site,” he said.
“I got chatting to the construction workers when they came into the shop and then this opportunity came up and it’s been life-changing.
‘Back to college’
“When I finish working here I plan to go back to college to study civil engineering and to pursue a career in construction.”
Ingrid McElroy, community benefit programme manager with the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board, said the new hospital will be one of the largest employers in the area, employing 3,700 people.
“Working with educational, training, employment and community partners in the area, we are creating pathways and raising awareness within the community about the opportunities that the new children’s hospital will provide,” she said.