Belfast Telegraph

Foremen shortage hits Irish building sites

By John Mulligan

A shortage of experienced foremen to manage building teams and sites in the Republic is contributing to a drop in the productivity of construction workers and driving up costs, a report has said.

Costs will soar by up to 7% this year, a new study by consultants Mitchell McDermott shows. Rises are being fuelled by staff shortages and wage increases. The report noted that an office block that would have cost around €20m to build in 2015, would cost €25m now.

"Many contractors are reporting a sharp drop in productivity, which is resulting in increased costs and missed deadlines," said Paul Mitchell, one of the directors of the consultancy firm.

Last year Pat McCann, chief executive of Ireland's largest hotel group Dalata, said that construction costs for hotels had also risen dramatically.

At the time Dalata was building its 180-bedroom Clayton Charlemont Hotel on Dublin's southside at a cost, including site acquisition, of about €225,000 per bedroom.

The expected rate of increase in construction costs this year is five times the rate of inflation. The research is based on 68 projects valued at a total of more than €1.4bn.

Belfast Telegraph