You’ve looked at the positives and thinking about making the permanent move – coming (home) to Ireland to work in the construction industry, but you want to ensure there are opportunities.

Following the crash in the property market, employment in the building & construction industry fell from 236,800 in 2007 to 83,400 in 2012.

If you were working in construction , you more than likely emigrated when the construction sector collapsed.

While some big issues are still in place; such as:

  • Brexit and its potential impact on new construction project demand,
  • Labour shortages, resources and tender price inflation;

The challenges today reflect the continued growth of the Irish economy itself; which can only be a good thing if harnessed.

If you are thinking of coming (home) to Ireland to work in the Construction Industry, you will be wondering:

Who is hiring?

The latest SCSI/PwC Construction Market Monitor Report 2018 states that skill shortages remain a serious challenge for Ireland’s construction sector. There is an under-supply of skilled tradesmen and industry experts – hovering between 53% – 84%.

The increase in construction output (expected to increase by 14% to approximately €19.5 billion in 2018) is positively linked to foreign direct investment. However to benefit from these investments; progressive infrastructure across housing and transportation are required.

The simple fact is, Ireland will need more construction workers/tradesmen if our building sector is to fully recover and our housing crisis is to be solved.

Due to it’s populous, Dublin has recovered significantly. In order to meet the demand of urbanisation; the government increased its capital expenditure on infrastructure development by 6.3%, from EUR3.3 billion in 2014 to EUR3.5 billion in 2015.

So who exactly is hiring?

If you are thinking of coming (home) to Ireland to work in the Construction Industry, most organisations in the construction industry, in all regions of Ireland are hiring, and these skills shortages offer you the perfect opportunity to make that move (home).

Regulatory changes

If you are thinking of coming (home) to Ireland to work in the Construction Industry, it is important to mention regulatory changes that have been implemented since the economic downturn (when you potentially left Ireland).

The Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2014 (SI 09 2014)

This regulation introduced a system of mandatory certificates of compliance at various stages in a construction process; where the building owner will be required to appoint competent designers, a competent builder, and a new entity, known as the assigned certifier; ensuring that the construction sector operates to a higher standard.

Get yourself up to date on these changes on the following link:

Salary expectations

If you are thinking of coming (home) to Ireland to work in the Construction Industry – salary may not be in line with Sydney, London, Dubai etc. However, Dublin is moderately cheaper to live in; and if you make the move (home) to Ireland now, prove your worth, you can reap the benefits of the upturn in the economy

Effective from 19th October 2017, A Sectoral Employment Order (SEO) for the general construction industry has been signed into law by the Minister for State at the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, providing for mandatory terms and conditions in the construction sector, including pay, pensions and sick leave. (Notably electricians and plumbers are not included).

Most companies are taking direct action to address skills shortages where companies are running campaigns to attract engineers, architects and other construction professionals to come back to Ireland.

Salaries will differ dependent on what sector of the construction industry you are in however follow this link to give you an idea:

Cost of Living

The Dept. of Foreign Affairs carried out a survey which reviewed the worst problems affecting Irish construction workers who had emigrated & returned home.

Findings from this survey revealed the main challenges are:

  • housing (43.4%),
  • car insurance (41.4%),


It has been reported by the Employment Conditions Abroad that Dublin is now a more expensive place to live than the Silicon Valley.

A major factor in Dublin’s unwanted rise in the report is due to the rise in the value of the euro and a weaker dollar; as well as the fact that not just Dublin, but 10 European cities are now in the top 100 most expensive places to live category.

In the Action Plan for Housing, the Irish Government commits to a number of measures to increase the supply of housing to 25,000 units every year by 2020.

The plan also aims to improve the supply of units at affordable rates in the rental sector through measures such as the introduction of Rent Pressure Zones and the Living City and Rent a Room initiatives (IDA Ireland, 2017).

If you are thinking of coming (home) to Ireland to work in the Construction Industry, the reality is Ireland is an expensive country.

Workers should be compensated accordingly in terms of salary and with tax cuts last year, and government investment; these trends should afford you disposable income bringing stability to our public finances and to people’s homes.

But we would advise to get ahead of the curve and start looking now, get in touch with old friends, colleagues, everyone in your network and you’d be surprised what housing/rental opportunities are out there.

Car Insurance:

Despite recent research conducted by the Central Statistics Office, which indicated that the cost of motor insurance has dropped by 12.8% in the past 12 months, motorists are still seeing a rise on the rate of their premiums (AA Ireland).

If you are thinking of coming (home) to Ireland to work in the Construction Industry, the good news is there are insurance companies who are grabbing this opportunity.

Various companies are offering insurance policies to those with low or no, no claims bonus, especially those returning from overseas. Some companies to check out:

  • Quote Me
  • XS Direct
  • Non Standard Insurance
  • Chill Insurance

Although they are offering to insure, be warned you could expect to pay a little more than those who stayed in Ireland, but it will get you on the road which is advantageous in the construction industry.

The overall outlook is bright – if you are thinking of coming (home) to Ireland to work in the Construction Industry, there is copious work and salary opportunities in the this sector.

Ireland is ranked as the third most competitive economy and another plus – leading tax refund specialists say that they would guesstimate that 50% of returnees could have left money behind in the form of tax refunds.

Click here to view all available jobs in Construction and Engineering.

If you would like to have a conversation about opportunities in the construction sector – please email Amy on [email protected] or Joe on [email protected]


Article Written By:
Donna Farrell

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