June 28, 2023
Mairéad Farrell TD says more scrutiny needed of new Construction Licencing Authority Bill

Mairéad Farrell TD, Sinn Féin spokesperson on Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, said she has serious concerns with the new Construction Licencing Authority Bill. This follows on from Minister Niall Collins’ appearance yesterday before the Joint Committee on Education, Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science.
Teachta Farrell said:
“The way this bill is currently constituted raises concerns. The fact that the government submitted over 180 amendments to their own bill alone, raised several red flags. The list of amendments was almost as long as the bill itself, which runs to 60 pages.
“I’m very surprised that pre-legislative scrutiny was waived on a bill which will have such significant implications for the future of employment and training practices in the construction sector. I think the proof is in the pudding when it comes to the number of amendments listed by Government themselves. This is an important Bill which must be gotten right when considering the major work that is needed to solve the housing crisis and addressing our infrastructural deficit.
“Concerns have been raised across the sector, from Employers Groups to Trade Unions and individuals working within the sector, which once again highlights that this important piece of legislation must be thoroughly examined and scrutinised .
“Given the importance of this Bill it is essential that it is dealt with at all levels within the department and by both Minsters.
“Workers have raised with me the need to ensure that protections are in place for the mobility post the implementation of this Bill and that the avenues open to them at this point, be it working international or moving onto further and higher education, will remain in place. 
“As the construction industry changes into the future it is essential that any new Bill allows for new apprenticeships and qualifications to be recognised, after the appropriate scrutiny of these qualifications.  Going into the future we must realise that technology can change rapidly and we must allow the sector to adapt to any such changes.
“Consideration of the all-island nature of the economy must be taken into account and how best to ensure qualifications, once scrutinised, can be recognised.
“This Bill will play an important role in the future and it is essential that views from those impacted are heard and sensible proposals listened to.”

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