Companies from Ireland are hiring skilled South African construction workers.
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The Irish government has set a target of building an additional 33,000 new homes a year for the remainder of the decade, but it is short of skilled workers. So it's recruiting abroad, including in South Africa.

The housing build target and a plan to retrofit 500,000 homes by 2030 require an additional 51,698 construction workers over the coming years.

“In its attempt to search and find suitable candidates to fill these opportunities, Ireland has reached out to several governments to assist and support this initiative,”  employment and labour department spokesperson Teboho Thejane said. 

The department is this week hosting a number of Irish companies’ delegations who have come to recruit people skilled in construction and civil engineering.

Thejane said the Jobs Fair of qualified “highly skilled” South African candidates started with physical interviews in Johannesburg this week as well as virtual interviews.

Recently, 72 positions, ranging from site managers, quantity surveyors, electrical engineers and mechanical engineers to mechanical construction managers, were advertised.

The successful critical skilled work candidates will receive a two-year permit while general employment candidates will be allowed a permit of one year.

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South Africa's construction industry, a significant contributor to employment, has been in a slump since 2009, according to a Business Day report last year.

In 2021, the government announced a plan to invest R791.2bn in public sector infrastructure from 2021 to 2024. The industry is hoping this spending will support its recovery. However, the FNB/BER Building Confidence Index released this month showed more than 70% of respondents are dissatisfied with business conditions, the newspaper said. 


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