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Two Laois schools among 44 competing in ‘Design A Home for Everyone’ competition

Mountrath Community School

Clonaslee College and Mountrath Community School will compete with over 42 schools from 22 counties nationwide have now entered the Construction Industry Federation (CIF)’s national competition for senior cycle students called ‘A Home for Everyone’.

The schools range from Rosses Community School in Dunloe Down, to schools from Kerry, Wexford, Tipperary, Cork and Dublin.

This competition, aimed Transition Year students, is a team-based project where students nationwide will work together to design a home that helps ‘solve’ climate change, the housing crisis and addresses inclusivity.

The submitted designs will need to be eco-friendly, affordable and suitable for both elderly people and those with physical disabilities.

The competition will run until March 1 with judging taking place until mid-March.

The winning team will have their design rendered into a three-dimensional model, so they can ‘walk’ through the house with a range of ambassadors, politicians, celebrities, parents and local councillors in March 2021.

In addition, the winning school will receive high end measuring equipment, a laser level and a masterclass in the use of the equipment as well as WiFi equipment.

The winning team members will have the option of taking a CIF scholarship or access to the apprenticeship programme if they do decide to take a construction-related career route in their future.

This programme was developed by “Class Of Your Own” led by CEO Alison Watson MBE in collaboration with TUI, the Techno Teachers Association Ireland, the Engineering Technology Teachers Association and the Institute of Guidance Counsellors. This programme is designed compliment current teaching and career guidance principles.

According to a recent Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation report, at the end of 2019, 205,400 people were employed in the construction sector, ranging in careers from construction, architecture, engineering services to utilities.

Recent CIF Research conducted nationally by iReach shows over 63% of parents would be happy for their children to pursue a career in construction.

The majority of parents, (86%) believe people working in construction is critical to build the future.

Interestingly, over half of parents (54%) also believed the construction sector provides careers for women as well as men.

CIF’s Director General, Tom Parlon, who was previously a TD in Laois-Offaly for the Progressive Democrats, said: “In just three weeks, we have seen a huge demand in schools entering the competition, and with the demand, we have extended the closing date for entry.

“As we look forward to 2021 and the real possibility of a vaccine, students, and their teachers a are keen to learn more about a career in construction is.

“Increasingly, our workers are traveling internationally, using technology instead of a hammer, and are working as part of diverse, multi-disciplinary teams.

“Salaries and wages are increasing all the time and there’s a clear career path from building site to boardroom for those who want it.

“We’re marrying young people’s concerns about homelessness, climate change and inclusivity with construction to demonstrate that a career can make a difference and have a real purpose.”

SEE ALSO – ‘We need to really maximise the talent that’s in the county and just improve in any aspect that we can’

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Stradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016.