The Government has launched a new initiative to recruit construction workers.

The plan, entitled 'FutureBuilding', will identify recruitment needs within the construction sector.

Staff will then work with jobseekers, supporting them through training and skills development and matching them with employers.

The initiative will identify people who previously worked in the construction sector and will communicate employment opportunities to those workers.

'FutureBuilding' is a joint initiative of the departments of Social Protection and Further and Higher Education.

"Construction is a sector where we know there are huge numbers of job opportunities," said Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys.

"Later this month, I will also launch a specific Construction Work and Skills week which will see almost 40 events held nationally to promote jobs, training and apprenticeships in construction and associated careers."

Under the new scheme, training agencies across the country will work with Intreo in the Department of Social Protection to identify people for direct placement into employment in construction and for referral to relevant education and training opportunities.

"We clearly have a housing crisis driven by a shortage in supply. However, as supply increases, we need to ensure we have enough people to match the demand," said Minister for Further and Higher Education, Simon Harris.

The FutureBuilding Initiative is an 18-month pilot which will operate through a team staffed by Intreo from the Department of Social Protection, SOLAS and Education and Training Boards.