“Inefficiency and outdated practices in the construction industry are holding Ireland back – we must adopt a collaborative approach to procurement and delivery if we are to meet Project Ireland 2040.” This is how Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, opened the Construction Industry Federation Conference at Croke Park recently.

Echoing the Taoiseach’s sentiment, Topcon Positioning Ireland used the annual conference to make a very exciting announcement. Leading the way in inspiring the next generation, Topcon is supporting the delivery of the first Class Of Your Own (COYO) Design Engineer Construct!® (DEC) learning programme course at Terenure College in Dublin.

After his opening address, the Taoiseach took the time to visit the students of Terenure College and Topcon’s team of experts to learn more about the company’s support of education institutions and initiatives across Ireland.

Andy Clifton, Applications Engineer – Geospatial at Topcon Positioning GB, has been an education ambassador for Topcon for many years. Representing Topcon Positioning Ireland on a panel discussion at the event, Andy debated the critical drivers to building the industry’s future workforce. His continued involvement with educational programmes, such as DEC, demonstrates his commitment to shaping the future engineers of the UK and Ireland.

He explains: “We need to make construction attractive for young people again because we’re losing our workforce to more ‘exciting’ sectors, such as the film and media industry. We need to reinforce that construction is a professional, all-encompassing career involving software and technology – it isn’t just laying bricks. It’s the role of professional bodies, the government, and leading companies within the industry to change this perception. We’re currently not tapping into the talent pool available to us and this is why we’re facing a skills shortage. Events like the CIF Conference are so important as they allow the industry to come together and debate the biggest challenges we face, and come up with practical solutions.”

Meeting Project Ireland 2040 won’t be possible without a dedicated workforce, but also without innovative technology.

Demonstrating to visitors the possibilities of near-real time verification, Topcon had its GTL-1000 on stand and available for demonstrations. The device, which was originally launched at the Digital Construction Summit at Croke Park in June, has had great feedback from the Irish market so far.  

Declan Byrne, Technical Sales Specialist at Topcon Ireland, added: “The GTL-1000 is another example of how we are addressing the skills gap in construction – not only in Ireland, but across the world. The device is helping to make workflow on site quicker and slicker. A lot of project cost is in rework, with many construction companies having problems because their margins are so fine, but mistakes can be the difference between success and failure. Devices like the GTL-1000 allow us to test ideas before reaching the real-world, making communication on projects between multiple stakeholders easy and potentially saving companies a lot of money.”

Leading industry experts from across the Irish market were also invited to an exclusive VIP session over lunch, where addressing the skills gap in the construction sector across Ireland was a hotly debated topic. Attendees included Alison Watson from COYO, Gordon O'Regan from Keating, Pat Lucey from CIF and Gerry Fallon from TU Dublin.

To find out more about the GTL-1000 or Topcon Positioning Ireland’s education initiatives, visit:

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