The Government must address the skills shortage in the retrofitting of homes through creating apprenticeships, training and job opportunities. I have raised this in the Dáil, and you can watch a video of my interaction below.
Recently, Professor John Fitzgerald told the Committee on Climate Change that Irish households will spend between €25 and €75 billion over the next 30 years retrofitting their homes. The vast bulk of resources will come from householders’ own pockets. But we currently don’t have the skills necessary to carry out this retrofitting work, so households that want to be climate friendly and reduce their carbon footprint, aren’t in a position to do so.
I held a public meeting recently at which Professor Fitzgerald explained in detail how much of a problem this is. Unfortunately, we don’t have Dermot Bannons to advise people, unless, of course, they have €100,000 or more to invest in a whole-house refit.
At the same time, there are currently thousands of young people unemployed who could avail of apprenticeships, if these positions existed, who could develop their skills and assist in these vital retrofitting works. If the Government is really serious about tackling climate change, it needs to take urgent action to create apprenticeships, training opportunities and jobs in this most vital sector for those who want to respond and reduce their carbon footprint.