On Monday, 18th July in Mount Lucas, the Housing For All Demonstration Park and advanced training facility for Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) was launched. This is a significant investment by the Department through SOLAS and should help to drive further awareness, technical capability, and increase capacity in our sector towards the use of MMC. ‘Housing For All’ demands a new approach to housing delivery and needs the industry to maximise its use of modern technologies, methods of pre-manufacturing, delivery, installation, and coordination of work packages.
We believe that for the housing sector, this centre offers a place for industry to collaborate and examine these new methodologies. It should offer an opportunity for industry to share best practice and coupled with the advanced training facility here in Mount Lucas could help the transition from traditional skills towards advanced manufacturing and off-site pre-fabrication. The industry has been working with Enterprise Ireland for the past 5 years in the development of policy in this regard. We welcome the investment by SOLAS and fully support the decision to site the facility in this location here in Mount Lucas.
The CIF has had a great partnership with Laois Offaly ETB in developing other traineeships and apprenticeships in the recent past, and we believe that they are well positioned to take this series of new programmes forward. We look forward to working with them in the near future as they try to determine the skills gap and define programmes that are fit for delivery. We appreciate that the CSG subgroup has helped to deliver this project.
The CIF would like to acknowledge the rapid steps being taken to deliver this centre and also want to flag the need for a national MMC centre that truly supports the wider sector. MMC and advanced manufacturing for construction has been most evident in the companies which serve the FDI markets of pharma, semi-conductor, and data centres. We need to embrace their learnings and ensure that in the future a national MMC centre will serve companies operating in new builds and refurbishments for OPW, Health, Education, and other public and private clients. Otherwise, we may not realise the ambition set out in our own analysis of productivity challenges in 2018.