A new report by the Banking and Payments Federation of Ireland (BPFI), has recommended bringing in more apprenticeship programmes and work permits to address skill shortages.
The BPFI says a shortage in construction workers will make it more difficult to address the housing crisis.
Its latest SME Monitor found 60% of firms here are having difficulties recruiting machine operators and tradespeople.
40% of construction companies say they are struggling to get enough laborers.
The federation has warned that labour shortages and skill gaps "pose a risk to growth in key SME sectors including construction, as employment numbers in Ireland reached record highs".
Brian Hayes, Chief Executive, BPFI, says "today's report shows shows that Ireland’s economy remains buoyant as economic activity continued to grow in 2023, even as the economy coped with sharp rises in business costs and consumer prices and the European Central Bank’s efforts to ensure price stability through interest rate increases.
"Employment reached its highest levels on record in Q2 2023 at over 2.6 million and on the back of this, income tax receipts were up 8.2% year on year to €23.1 billion in the year to date.”
“However, despite strong indicators in the economy, it’s clear that labour shortages risk growth in key SME sectors, particularly construction, where SMEs account of 80% of employment".