The Construction Industry Federation (CIF) has welcomed the announcement that the Government is to spend E1.5 billion on a new schools building programme over the next five years.
However it has cautioned that the programme will need to set fair tender guidelines to include most contractors if it is to provide a widespread boost to the construction industry in Ireland.
Speaking about the announcement, CIF Director General Tom Parlon said, "Under the details of the programme the Department of Education expects to create 15,000 direct construction jobs and 3,000 indirect construction positions. What is vital is that those jobs are spread throughout the industry. We don't want to see a situation arise where many Irish contractors are not allowed to even tender for these projects."
"There is a very strict tendering process in place for schools building. It is important that quality buildings are constructed which provide good value to the State. It does not help the economy however if these building projects start to go to construction companies from outside of the State. That will not provide a boost to employment in the Irish construction sector."
"With this in mind the Department will need to be very careful how they set out the qualification criteria for the tendering process. If the guidelines are too strict we may see only a small pool of Irish construction companies able to apply for this work. That will not provide the boost that the industry needs. It would also result in many of the estimated 15,000 construction jobs going to non Irish companies."
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