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Over half of construction industry would work for free

Over half (54 per cent) of the professional construction industry would work for free if it meant they could secure work in their profession. That’s one of the main findings of a survey by Hays, the world’s leading recruiting experts in qualified, professional and skilled people, who spoke to 350 senior qualified individuals across Ireland in September of this year. The purpose of the research was to quantify the levels of retraining taking place within the industry and attitudes towards it.

The results revealed that over a third (35 per cent) of qualified construction professionals are currently engaged in non-construction related training and 55 per cent believe FAS courses are poor or of no benefit in relation to improving employment prospects.

"These figures are alarming when you consider that three quarters of our respondents are over 30 and 70 per cent spent more than four years gaining their professional qualification", said Paul O’Donnell Operations Manager for Hays Construction & Property.

The research also revealed that half the respondents are no longer working within their main profession and for those that are working, the most common salary bracket has dropped from €60,000 – €90,000 to €30,000 – €45,000.

When asked about training, over three quarters (78 per cent) said financial constraints have stopped them from training and three in five (61 per cent) said training resources in their geographical area are not adequate.

"The perception is that for retraining to improve their prospects they really need to be studying at degree or masters level. For an unemployed engineer or architect, trying to support a family, this is often a bridge too far financially" added O’Donnell.

"Construction professionals are clearly serious about up-skilling, but feel the resources that are currently available to them are inadequate. It’s important that any state sponsored training provides professionals with the skills required to get employment".

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About Hays

Hays Ireland is part of Hays plc (the "Group"), the leading global professional recruiting group. The Group is the expert at recruiting qualified, professional and skilled people worldwide, being the market leader in the UK and Australia and one of the market leaders in Continental Europe. The Group operates across the private and public sectors, dealing in permanent positions, contract roles and temporary assignments.

As at 30 June 2010, the Group employed 6,845 staff operating from 270 offices in 28 countries across 17 specialisms.

For the year ended 30 June 2010:

the Group reported net fees of £557.7 million and operating profit of £80.5 million;

the Group placed around 50,000 candidates into permanent jobs and around 180,000 people into temporary assignments;

26% of Group net fees were generated in Asia Pacific, 30% in Continental Europe & RoW and 44% in the United Kingdom & Ireland

the temporary placement business represented 58% of net fees and the permanent placement business represented 42% of net fees;

Hays operates in the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE and the United Kingdom.

For further press information or to set up an interview please contact:

Tom McEnaney

T. 087 2222 666



Stephen Flanagan


T. 085 803 1199