Poll: Do you think there's too much focus on college degrees at the expense of trades?

Some say a skills shortage in construction is hindering the country’s ability to deliver homes.

By Conor McMahon Deputy editor, Fora

THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY is hardly the only sector that’s finding it hard to fill job vacancies.

But the skills shortage in the sector is putting a strain on the country’s ability to deliver homes, according to Liam Hetherington, co-founder of Cork-based building group GPD.

In a column published by Fora, Hetherington argues that in order to plug the gap, there needs to be an overhaul in the thinking behind career paths in construction.

He suggests that the introduction of multi-trade, practical courses would create more versatile tradespeople and would place less emphasis on the need to obtain a third-level degree.

However, even though it might not suit everyone, there are benefits to obtaining a higher education.

For example, third-level graduates in Ireland are more likely to be employed full-time and typically earn more than school-leavers, according to the OECD.

With that in mind, we’re asking Fora readers this week: Do you think there’s too much focus on college degrees at the expense of trades?