10 November 2023
Dublin Port-based Construction Skills Course Crosses 1,000 Graduates
Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD was at Dublin Port’s Substation today to mark the Dublin Construction Skills and Retrofitting Programme crossing 1,000 graduates.
The Port-based three-week course, which is ran by St Andrew’s Resource Centre in partnership with Inner City Renewal Group, is focused on helping unemployed upskill quickly and find gainful employment in the construction industry.
Today saw 10 people graduate, bringing the total number of graduates since the course was launched in 2017, to over 1,000.
Construction Skills Course by Numbers:
- 1,003 people have graduated.
- 60% of graduates start a job within the first month.
- Female interest in the course is growing – 10% of graduates in 2023 were women.
- 90% of candidates complete the three-week course.
- 102 courses have been completed since 2017.
The intense course, for which all candidates are issued with a full set of workwear, prepares recent graduates with a diverse set of qualifications and experience for employment on construction sites. It consists of two main components: a Construction Skills Certification at Level 3 and a Retrofitting Assistant Certification.
Both components involve a placement process, and they work closely with each individual candidate to facilitate their entry into the construction industry. The primary objective of the programme is to have 60% of participants gain employment in the construction sector, with the majority of them securing jobs within four weeks of completing the course. Notable companies that have hired graduates include John Sisk & Son, Careys Building & Civil Engineering, Walls Construction, Alufix, and Clarke Concrete.
Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD said: “The Dublin Construction Skills and Retrofitting programme is a shining example of how innovative training initiatives can have a profound impact on individuals’ lives and the local community. With over 1,000 graduates, this course is not just about numbers, it’s about creating opportunities, empowering people and driving economic growth. It’s heartening to see the construction industry embracing and benefitting from this skilled workforce. Congratulations to all involved in this remarkable achievement.”
Barry O’Connell, Chief Executive, Dublin Port Company, said: “Dublin Port Company are extremely proud to play host to the Construction Skills Course. The Port has long-standing ties with St Andrew’s and we are delighted to facilitate the great work they are doing for the local community and beyond. To pass 1,000 graduates is a phenomenal achievement and a lot of credit must go to all involved.”
The curriculum is tailored to individual needs and capabilities. The range of modules includes:
- SOLAS Safe Pass
- Manual Handling
- Abrasive Wheels
- MEWP (Scissors and Boom)
- Working at Heights
- QQI Level 3 Construction Skills
- Introduction to Block Laying – 3 days (onsite)
- Introduction to Plumbing and Plastering – 3 days (onsite)
- Introduction to Carpentry and Decoration – 3 days (on-site)
The inception of the program can be traced back to a collaborative effort involving the Department of Social Protection, St. Andrews Resource Centre and Dublin City Council. This initiative arose in response to the need for a local workforce to support the construction of the incinerator site in Ringsend in 2016 and the Strategic Development Zones in Dublin Docklands. St. Andrews Resource Centre devised a strategy to facilitate the recruitment of local workers in the east side of the inner city.
Edel Currie, Community Engagement Manager, Dublin Port Company, said: “The course is truly a life-changing experience for some of the graduates. There are amazing stories of people, men and women, from the local community who have flourished in the construction industry off the back of this course. We have even seen some graduates working within the Port, so it gives us immense pride to see the difference it can make to people’s lives.”
Jim Hargis, Manager of the Education and Training Hub at St Andrews Resource Centre, said: “We are immensely proud to reach 1,000 graduates at Dublin Port’s magnificent Substation today. The success of the project, and something that gives me great satisfaction, is that it is always evolving to ensure it meets employers’ needs. I would like to give a huge thanks to Dublin Port for giving us the platform to stage the course and supporting us.”