It’s encouraging to see that property- and construction-related courses are becoming increasingly popular following the recent round of CAO offers.

ACTIVITY INCREASING
Sector is seeing signs of improvement.

There is no doubt that activity in the sector has increased, with regional Ireland showing signs of improvement. With this improvement in business sentiment and activity, other challenges can follow. Longer hours at work and tighter deadlines often leave us feeling overwhelmed. However, downtime, and exercise, are not only key to your mental health, they are also incredibly important for the health of any business or organisation. I hope all members had the opportunity to take time out over the summer to relax, spend time with family and friends, and to reflect and prepare for the year ahead.

Policy for positive change

As we move closer to Budget day on October 9, we are increasingly conscious of our economy’s fragility to external shocks and therefore the SCSI is calling on the Government to take a measured approach to the estimated €800m of fiscal space available to Minister Donohoe. Our pre-Budget submission (see page 28) has called for the establishment of a ‘Construction Innovation Centre’ to drive down costs and help increase productivity. The volatility within the sector in recent years fails to support long-term investment and innovation, while the construction industry is hampered by low productivity. The SCSI Tender Price Index shows that prices will rise by c.7% this year, while the cost of delivering a standard three-bed semi-detached home in Dublin is approximately €330K and likely to increase. We need to see substantial increase in the funding of new social homes, while also promoting innovative design and greater density, with better use of existing land, infrastructure and transport in urban areas. It needs to happen fast.

Our organisation

The SCSI offices are currently undergoing important renovation works, which will create some temporary disruption for our committees and working groups over the next few months. This will include service and IT improvements to ensure a comfortable, safe environment for staff and members. We will also be running several conferences in the coming months, including the Property and Facilities Management Conference, and our National Conference in November. We urge members to attend as many of these events as possible; they are an excellent way to fulfil your CPD requirements and stay ahead of the curve on exciting change in the industry.

Apart from our continued presence in the media and online, the Society will reach a rural audience of up to 300,000 at the Ploughing Championships. This year we join forces with other leaders in property, land and construction such as the PSRA, Ordnance Survey Ireland, the Property Registration Authority, Valuation Office, IPAV, MII and MyHome.ie. Look out for us at the National Property and Land Information tent beside the Ploughing Championships HQ.

 

Des O’Broin

President