Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Wednesday, 18 December 2019

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action

Supporting a Just Transition: Discussion (Resumed)

Mr. Kieran Mulvey:

Bord na Móna is still going through its analysis of how many workers will be retained in renewing the wetlands because that will require staff for a period of time and there is talk of re-employing approximately 100 workers in that area. Bord na Móna is also doing a number of incubator industries that are coming near market stage or that are still being piloted that are particular to the boglands of Ireland. It is doing good initiatives in that area, some of them around the horticultural industry.

The big issue about retraining workers to get them into skill areas they have not been used to is how they can utilise their existing skills in a new industry. That is where the education and training boards, Springboard, Skillnet and third level institutions will be vital. There will be a particular issue around those workers of an age profile who expect another ten years of full-time employment before their pensions kick in. The difficulty is how to identify for them whether they want to depart the company entirely or retrain.

The other issue that was raised is around new retrofitting initiatives in the area, particularly for Bord na Móna built accommodation in the midlands with which we are all familiar. That sounds marvellous but refitting is a costly and highly skilled process.