Thursday 14th December 2023: Sisk carpentry and joinery apprentices at its Dublin training centre are celebrating 50 years of its toy making tradition that will see an estimated 800 handcraft toys delivered to children’s charities and hospitals across Ireland, UK and Europe in time for Christmas.
The Sisk toy story is part of a long-standing tradition which was started by John G Sisk at its Naas Road workshop with an estimated 20,000 handmade toys having been produced by its apprentices over the past 50 years.
The construction industry is embracing new ways of working, sustainability and digital tools are now fundamental to Sisk and its toy making tradition. This year the Sisk team have made a conscious effort to make more wooden based retro toys including, rocking horses, trucks and art stations.
These have been handcrafted using 70 percent of recycled wooden materials from timber off-cuts received from Sisk construction sites nationwide. Some of the timber materials includes MDF (Medium Density Fiber board) with much of this coming from disused site hoarding and signage.
Traditionally the team have sourced ideas from books and feedback from the charities who have received toys in the past. Digital construction has now modernised its toy making approach with all of this year’s toys being designed using digital tools with its apprentices now having the skillset and capability to design its toys. A CAD programme is now utilised and this has significantly reduced the time needed to design the toys.
One-third of the toys are delivered to Sisk construction sites to donate to local charities and the following two-thirds of toys are delivered by its apprentices to children’s charities and hospitals throughout Ireland. The first deliveries of toys commences on 5th December going to Irish, UK and European Sisk sites, with the Sisk elves delivering its toys right up to Thursday 21st December just in time for Christmas.
Ronan Murphy, Sisk Joinery and Training Manager said: “Our toy story is culturally engrained into the business and is a testament to the family culture within Sisk. It gives perspective to our apprentices and is a real eye opener for our new younger trainees who come back from children’s hospital visits with a real sense of appreciation.
He added: “Our apprentices participate in the whole toy making lifecycle having physically produced the toys right down to delivering them into the hands of the end user. In this case usually very sick or disadvantaged children. This initiative gives everyone connected with Sisk a real sense of pride and is a key part of our apprenticeship programme that enables us to mould good people upon completion of their time with us.”
Sisk is an innovative, international, construction and engineering business with a long-term vision and over 160 years in operation. Sisk employs approx. 2,300 people and is Ireland's leading provider of construction services with extensive operations across Ireland, the United Kingdom and mainland Europe with the track record, scale and capacity to successfully undertake large, complex multidisciplinary programmes. Sisk is recognised by global clients as a world leader in safe delivery.
Sisk delivers projects and programmes in key sectors such as Data and Technology, Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences, Infrastructure, Transportation, Healthcare, Commercial, Residential, Retail, Industrial, Leisure, Education and Energy. Sisk offers a life-cycle approach to construction from planning and offsite construction, through delivering and fitting out a project safely and sustainably with technology as a key enabler, and then working with clients to help manage and maintain buildings efficiently throughout their lifespan.
For more see www.johnsiskandson.com