A group of four people dressed in suits or protective gear for entering construction sites as if they are engineers.
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67pc of engineering employers to recruit, says Engineers Ireland report

23 May 2023

The skills shortage and the low percentage of responses from women in engineering were two issues in this year’s Engineers Ireland report.

The latest barometer report from Engineers Ireland showed mostly positive results, with more than two thirds (67pc) of all engineering employers surveyed planning to recruit.

Almost three quarters (71pc) of respondents said that they expected their financial position to improve this year, while 85pc said there is plenty of job opportunities out there.

However, there was concern expressed among Engineers Ireland members about the ongoing engineering skills shortage. The 2023 barometer report found that 72pc of employers are concerned that the shortage of engineers with the correct skills is a major barrier to business growth.

The main skills employers are looking for are fundamental engineering knowledge, effective communication and the design of solutions to complex problems.

Earlier this year ahead of Engineers Week, Engineers Ireland’s director general Damien Owens flagged the skills shortage as a problem and urged young people to consider apprenticeships as a way in to a career in engineering.

SiliconRepublic.com highlighted some of the ways engineering organisations are trying to combat the skills shortage, with apprenticeships featuring strongly on the agenda.

When asked whether apprenticeships are a good pathway into engineering, 63pc of those surveyed agreed that it is an attractive route into the sector. A higher percentage of women (70pc) than men (62pc) agreed.

Overall, 79pc of members surveyed agreed that engineering is a rewarding career for young people, while 76pc believe the profession offers equal career opportunities for women and men.

However, it is worth noting that of the 1,916 member responses, just 14pc were from women. Women are a significant minority in engineering.

There was also a public survey that polled attitudes of the wider public towards engineers and the engineering sector, which 1,000 adults in Ireland participated in. This survey was statistically representative of the adult population in Ireland.

Commenting on the overall findings of the report, Owens was pleased. “Engineering in Ireland is a robust industry which is predicting continued growth. We are all aware of the job cuts in the technology sector; however, it must be noted that there are other sectors in urgent need of engineers, eg construction and consultancy with almost 8,000 new jobs anticipated in these sectors in 2023.”

In April of this year, Engineers Ireland became the first organisation outside of the UK to be licensed by the Society for the Environment to award the Chartered Environmentalist title. This year’s report also highlighted the role engineering can play in making the country more sustainable.

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Blathnaid O’Dea
By Blathnaid O’Dea

Blathnaid O’Dea worked as a Careers reporter until 2024, coming from a background in the Humanities. She likes people, pranking, pictures of puffins – and apparently alliteration.

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