What’s next for Ireland’s craft wood industry?

In Ireland, there are a number of woodworking skills, from working with saws and hammers to designing and fabricating furniture and other crafts.

A lot of the time, it’s been an under-utilised skill.

“We have a big demand for furniture, so we’re trying to diversify and bring in the crafts,” says Dr John Kelly, the chief executive of the Irish Woodworkers’ Union.

Mr Kelly says the sector is growing by 2.6 per cent annually, and that is an encouraging sign.

“The number of people working in the craft sector is continuing to increase, particularly with the popularity of the digital market,” he says.

“With that in mind, I think we are looking at some really exciting things to come down the line.”

There is also an exciting new opportunity to get involved in the construction sector, which is also growing.

“This is where we’ve been seeing a lot of growth in the last few years, particularly in construction and building related skills,” says Mr Kelly.

“So, it could be a really good opportunity for us.”

The demand for wood is great for the local economy and for the jobs.

For example, there were almost 4,000 new jobs in construction in the year to March, according to the Department of Finance.

“That is really exciting,” says John Walsh, the managing director of the National Cement Association.

“There are so many new jobs, there’s lots of young people coming in and so it’s exciting.”

There are also new opportunities to develop the skills in the wood industry.

“A lot of wood is still being imported from China,” says David Fitzgerald, a senior lecturer in forestry at the University of Limerick.

“In the last 10 years, we’ve seen the demand for our products increase by about 10 per cent.”

There is a growing demand for hand tools, too.

In 2012, the Irish Hand Tool and Tool Making Association saw a 15 per cent growth in demand.

“If we can tap into that demand, it will create thousands of jobs,” Mr Fitzgerald says.

The demand has also been growing in the other industries.

“Demand for wood products in the car industry has increased by 20 per cent in the past five years, and we have seen that in other industries,” Mr Kelly adds.

We’re also seeing a rise in the demand from the homebuilding sector.” “

Wood products are going up, and there are also a lot more hand tools coming on the market.

We’re also seeing a rise in the demand from the homebuilding sector.”

There have also been an increasing number of apprenticeships, which are offered through the National Education Service (NES).

“We’re seeing a big increase in the number of apprentice positions across the country,” Mr Walsh says.

It is worth remembering that apprenticeships are only available in certain occupations, like carpentry, and are only offered to people with a certain qualification, like a diploma in woodworking.

But there are other opportunities in the sector, too, like apprenticeships and apprenticeships to be an apprentice.

For the first time, there is a national apprenticeship scheme, which provides up to €4,500 per year to a young person in the same category as a member of the public, in order to become an apprentice, or work in a woodworking workshop.

The apprenticeship can also be extended to other skills, like furniture, in the case of furniture making.

“It’s a really exciting time for the craft,” says Mrs Kelly.

The trade unions say they are working to encourage more people into the wood trade.

“People are interested in working in a craft where they have a chance of earning a living, and it’s a very rewarding career,” says Ms Fitzgerald.

“I think the more people get involved, the more jobs will be created.”