THE new regeneration building contracts may not lead to paid work for everyone, the official behind the project has warned.
Speaking at this week’s housing committee meeting, director of service Oliver O’Loughlin said while social clauses have been put in place to ensure contractors on the massive building scheme employ local, he said that some of this may come in the form of training.
He also said he is anticipating the budget for regeneration will remain at €28m for 2014, with social interventions including group sport projects, and higher-level inter-agency schemes benefitting.
Mike McNamara of the Limerick Trades Council asked: “Will the City Council be advertising all the contracts which have a social clause in them? What are the penalties for those contractors who fail to hold up their side of the bargain. It is very hard for those people who are long-term unemployed to be sat at home and see this work going on for their benefit, but they are not getting any work.”
Alice McAuliffe, of the Dromin/Athlacca housing corporation, urged the employment of locals on regeneration projects from the county.
“We have skilled labours, and trades people who are unemployed in the county and I think they should be considered too,” she said.
One project where the contractor will not be obliged to employ local will be in Lord Edward Street, where 79 housing units are being built alongside a retail/commercial unit and community facility.
The Lord Edward Street project was tendered before the policy put in place, so there is no legal force on the contractor to follow it.
However, Mr O’Loughlin said he hopes to persuade the developer to employ local “in the spirit of things”.
He added: “In some cases, there may not be direct employment - there may be training instead.”
In 2014, it is anticipated that 150 new units will be built, including projects at Cliona Park, Sheep Street and Athlunkard Street.