Action plan aims for 10,000 new apprentices a year to deliver NDP projects

Some 80,000 construction workers needed every year for major national projects

The Government has prepared an action plan to ensure 10,000 new apprentices will come on stream every year from 2025 to fill the 80,000 construction jobs needed to deliver the €165 billion National Development Plan, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Michael McGrath has said.

Mr McGrath said that the new National Development Plan (NDP) marks an increased investment of €49 billion on the 2018 version.

“The investment in this National Development Plan is gigantic – it is the largest and the greenest capital investment plan in the history of our State – we will spend over the next four years, in the life time of this Government, direct exchequer capital funding of almost €50 billion.

“The ambition here is of a scale we have never seen before with record levels of investment but we believe it is a plan that is achievable and will make a major difference when implemented in the lives of our country and our people,” he said.


Mr McGrath said the economic benefit would be particularly evident in the impact the plan would have on employment with a National Investment Office (NIO) analysis suggesting that almost 81,000 construction workers will be needed each year until 2030.

He said that the NIO analysis suggested that some 47,000 of these near 81,000 new construction jobs would be in direct employment while some 33,000 would be in indirect employment as the Government moves to deliver public infrastructure such as roads, railways, hospitals and schools.

Speaking at the launch of the NDP at Páirc Uí Chaoimh in Cork, Mr McGrath said that what will be critical to the delivery of the plan will be availability of skilled trades people and the Government was already at work to ensure sufficient workers would be available.

“The Department of Further and Higher Education, Research and Innovation has produced a new action plan for apprenticeships which sets out new ways of structuring, funding and promoting apprenticeships with a target of 10,000 new apprenticeship registrations per annum by 2025.”

In addition to working on major public infrastructure projects, construction workers would also work on public housing projects including the provision of 6,000 new affordable homes each year and the retrofitting of at least 500,000 homes to bring them up to BER 2 energy ratings, he added.

Barry Roche

Barry Roche

Barry Roche is Southern Correspondent of The Irish Times