Written answers

Wednesday, 8 December 2021

Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment

Skills Development

Photo of Rose Conway-WalshRose Conway-Walsh (Mayo, Sinn Fein)
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34. To ask the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the number of qualified tradespersons and skilled retrofitting workers that will be needed to deliver on retrofitting and other climate targets; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [60760/21]

Photo of Leo VaradkarLeo Varadkar (Dublin West, Fine Gael)
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The Expert Group on Future Skills Needs (EGFSN) is the independent body tasked with advising the Government on the current and future skills needs of the Irish economy. Its Secretariat is based in the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment.

As part of its 2021 work programme, the EGFSN undertook a study on the nature and quantity of skills required between now and 2030 to deliver on some of the key enabling measures in the Climate Action Plan.

These are the targeting of 5GW of offshore renewable wind energy, an increase in onshore wind energy of up to 8.2GW, and the generation of up to 1.5GW of grid scale solar energy; the energy efficient retrofit of 500,000 residential homes to a minimum B2 Building Energy Rating; and the target of having 840,000 electric cars, as well as 95,000 commercial vehicles, on Irish roads.

The resulting study, Skills for Zero Carbon: The Demand for Renewable Energy, Residential Retrofit and Electric Vehicle Deployment Skills to 2030, was published by the EGFSN on 24th November, and the Government has committed to acting on its findings in both Housing for All- A New Housing Plan for Ireland and Climate Action Plan 2021- Securing our Future, through a range of upskilling, reskilling and apprenticeship supports.

According to the EGFSN's analysis, in order to deliver on the Climate Action Plan's2030 targets, employment in wind and solar energy generation will have to quickly increase to 8,000, from a 3,000 baseline in 2020, within a number of years, and ultimately stand at 9,000 by 2030. This will mainly consist of workers in roles including Construction and Installation, Technicians and Technical Professionals, Engineering, Transport and Logistics, and Legal and Professional Services.

The workforce engaged in residential retrofit and heat pump installation will similarly have to ramp up quickly and increase more than fourfold (from c.4,000), to stand at over 17,000 for the remainder of the decade. These roles will mainly be concentrated in Insulation and Airtightness, Cosmetic and Repair, Lighting and Electrics, Engineering and Support, and Heating.

The existing motor mechanic workforce of c.15,000 will meanwhile need to be transitioned to work on Electric Vehicles as EV uptake increases.

The full details of these forecasts, including the occupational breakdowns, can be read in chapter 6 of the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs report, which is available on www.egfsn.ie.


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