Young People in Wicklow called on to Build The Future for Everyone

The Construction Industry Federation (CIF) in association with Sherry FitzGerald is launching a national competition for senior cycle students called ‘CIF Build the Future – Schools Challenge,’ which can be entered via

In Wicklow, St. Kevin’s Community College Dunlavin has submitted its application along with over sixteen schools and 40 teams nationwide who have already entered within a month of the competition opening.

 Aimed at Transition Year students, it is a team-based project where students work together to design a residential housing development help address sustainability, climate change, solve the housing crisis and showcase innovation in construction. The submitted designs will need to be eco-friendly, affordable.

 The competition will run until March 1st 2022 with judging taking place until mid-March.

  • The winning team will present their designs at the Ireland Skills Live Event in the RDS.  In addition, they will receive a day’s “Construction Experience” provided by Technical University Dublin and a TOPCON Complete construction package to include most up to date laser equipment and ½ day instruction, as well as a prize for each of team members.
  • The second team selected will also present their design at Ireland Skills Live Event in RDS in March 2022 and a TOPCON Construction package to include the latest equipment plus a half day’s instruction with individual prizes for each team member.
  • The third team selected will also present their design at Ireland Skills Live Event in RDS in March 2022 and receive TOPCON measuring equipment, along a prize for each team member.

All entries and team members will receive a certificate of merit in recognition of their work.

 Competition designed with education leaders

This programme was developed by the CIF in collaboration with TUI, the Techno Teachers Association Ireland, the Engineering Technology Teachers Association and the Institute of Guidance Counsellors. This programme is designed to complement current teaching and career guidance principles.

CIF’s Director General, Tom Parlon stated, “As we look forward to life after the pandemic, we have seen how robust a career in construction is, we have been able to operate throughout most of the difficult Covid-19 period.  But beyond this, our workers can now see the potential to travel internationally, and work in this sector in a multitude of ways as part of diverse, multi-disciplinary team.  There’s a clear career path from building site to boardroom for those who want it. We saw how last year’s competition celebrated the creativity and purpose that’s sometimes taken for granted in the construction industry.  We’re marrying young people’s concerns about homelessness, climate change and inclusivity with construction to demonstrate that a career can make a difference and have a real purpose.”

Speaking at the launch, Minister Michael McGrath TD, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform said, “With the recently published National Development Plan, the Government has set out its clear ambition when it comes to investing in the infrastructure of our country.  With that ambition and the unprecedented funding that has been committed to over the next 10 years, this is a very exciting time to consider a career in construction.  There are many long term projects in the pipeline in Project Ireland 2040 that could benefit from your ideas and skills. There are great innovations underway in the construction industry and it is a career path that can take you forward with a great diversity of roles and experiences. A skilled workforce is the backbone of any economy and the training that you embark on now will pay dividends for you and for society into the future.”

Mark FitzGerald, Chairman, Sherry FitzGerald encouraged the students to be creative in their approach as “Every generation in Ireland will benefit from your creativity and your ideas.”  He said  “We need to build a better and more sustainable society through the built environment. We’ve got many of the big things right in Ireland, but we’ve under-estimated the challenge of getting the built environment right. It is the biggest challenge of the 21st century. You don’t just need accommodation; you need really interesting jobs and careers. This is your country, this is your society. We owe it to your generation to give you the opportunity to make a difference.”

  • To enter the CIF Build the Future – Schools Challenge competition, visit  before March 1st 2022.

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