A survey conducted by the Construction Industry Federation has revealed 37% of Irish construction companies recently hired Irish workers returning from living and working abroad.
The housing crisis has seen a huge need for more homes to be built and fast; but with a huge skills shortage in the industry, construction cannot go ahead at the rate that is needed.
Since 2016, the CIF has highlighted a potential shortage of over 100,000 construction workers up to 2020.
Some in the construction industry are arguing that more should be done to encourage the return of diaspora to Ireland and to remove the barriers that they can sometimes face.
Dermot Carey CIF Director of Safety and Training said: “We should be building bridges not walls for the construction diaspora to return; the industry needs their skills and expertise to deliver housing and infrastructure.
“We are currently facing a housing crisis of large proportions, but in order to build more homes at the speed that is needed, we first must fill the skills gap and have more qualified construction workers on hand to build these homes.”
Tom Parlon, CIF Director General said: “When construction companies were recently surveyed about the difficulties faced when hiring diaspora, a whopping 50% said that there were no challenges at all.
“This is very good news, but we cannot ignore the 19% of companies who said waiting time until the worker could start was an issue.
“We also cannot ignore that a further 19% stated a difference in work attitude and culture was a challenge, and that 13% felt paper work and red tape posed huge barriers.”