Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Skilled Labour in Building Industry.

18.

andMr. Clohessy asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce if he is aware that a serious shortage of skilled labour exists throughout the country in the building industry; and that this scarcity tends to increase building costs, and slow down operations; and whether he will consider the advisability of initiating discussions with the appropriate trade unions whereby the position might be brought to the attention of their members at present working abroad, and of ensuring an improvement in the present position regarding recruitment to the trade through the system of apprenticeship.

I have no evidence of the existence throughout the country of a serious shortage of skilled labour in the building trade. Therefore, I do not think it necessary or appropriate for me to intervene in the manner suggested by the Deputies.

An Cheard Chomhairle is the body charged by the Apprenticeship Act, 1959, with responsibility for apprenticeship matters. It has been announced recently in the public press that An Chomhairle is encouraging the formation of voluntary committees representative of employers and workers in the building industry for the improvement of apprenticeship systems. Such a Committee has already been established in Cork and the formation of one for Dublin is under consideration. It may be expected that the work of these committees will contribute towards the solution of any shortage of skilled manpower which may exist.