Confidence in the engineering sector is continuing to grow as 71% of employers expect financial position to improve this year, according to a new report by Engineers Ireland.
However, the report also shows that 72% of employers are concerned that the shortage of engineers with the correct skills is a major barrier to business growth. The top five skills sought after include fundamental engineering knowledge, effective communication, and the design of solutions of complex problems.
Apprenticeships as a pathway
The report, Engineering 2023: A barometer of the profession in Ireland, found that the outlook for recruitment in 2023 is positive. Of the engineering employers surveyed, 67% plan to recruit. When asked about apprenticeships as a pathway into the profession in Ireland, 63% of members agreed that it is an attractive route into engineering with a higher percentage of female (70%) than males (62%) agreeing.
Engineers Ireland’s latest report was launched ahead of the institution’s annual national conferring ceremony, with eligible engineers awarded registered professional titles on Thursday, May 25, at the InterContinental hotel, Dublin.
In total, more than 300 engineers will be conferred with professional titles of engineering technician; associate engineer; Chartered Engineer; and Fellow at this event and other regional events.
Engineers Ireland is the sole authority to award the title of Chartered Engineer in the Republic of Ireland, and it is considered the gold standard of the profession.
Ready supply of engineering skills
John Power, president of Engineers Ireland, said: “With so many engineering firms creating jobs in the short to medium term, the challenge as always is to ensure Ireland has the ready supply of engineering skills needed to fill those positions and deliver the vital infrastructural projects needed to galvanise Ireland’s post-pandemic recovery.
"In this year’s report, 85% of members agreed that there are plenty of job opportunities in the sector. A total of 79% of our members surveyed agreed that engineering is a rewarding career for young people and 76% of members believe the profession offers equal career opportunities for women and men.”
Damien Owens, director general of Engineers Ireland, added: “Engineering touches the lives of everyone, providing creative solutions to societal needs from tangible works, such as bridges and flood defences to heart stents and prostheses as well as the invisible technology around us and addressing the challenges of climate change and the circular economy.
“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”.
The topic of engineering and sustainability was also explored in both the public and the member surveys. In April 2023, 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. Becoming licensed to register this title is an extremely positive development for Engineers Ireland members who are dedicated to excellence and who are committed to having sustainable practice integral to their role.
The climate change and biodiversity crisis is a call to action for engineers of all ages and disciplines to use their problem-solving abilities to tackle this challenge. With this in mind, as part of the public survey, the participants were also asked how much they agree with the statement: ‘Engineers are critical to combating climate change and biodiversity loss.’ Seventy percent of those questioned agreed with this statement.
Engineers Ireland also asked their members: ‘What should Engineers Ireland focus our sustainability efforts on’. With 822 open responses, the two major areas of focus are transportation and energy usage.
To see the report in full, visit: https://www.engineersireland.ie/Professionals/News-Insights/Campaigns-and-policies/Reports/Engineering-barometer