Demand soars for engineers with 6,000 jobs forecast despite uncertainties

Demand soars for engineers with 6,000 jobs forecast despite uncertainties

08 November 2018 at 12:10

Sector remains strong as engineering organisations express confidence about 2019, but survey identifies skills shortage as biggest barrier

Engineers Ireland to announce winners of 2018 excellence awards tomorrow 

There will be over 6,000 new jobs created in the engineering sector next year, a new survey by Engineers Ireland has revealed.

The findings, published ahead of the Engineers Ireland Excellence Awards 2018 this Friday, also indicate that 89% of the engineering employers surveyed believe their financial position will improve in 2019, despite the ongoing Brexit challenge and a recent decline in consumer sentiment across a number of sectors.

94% of the engineering employers surveyed however see the shortage of engineers with the right skills as the main barrier to business growth.

Commenting on the survey insights, Engineers Ireland Director General, Caroline Spillane said: “A vast swathe of engineering organisations and companies across consulting engineering, construction, manufacturing and other key industries have prospered in 2018, and have told us that they are even more confident about their prospects for 2019.  Despite the uncertain political climate, the engineering employers we surveyed have more than 6,000 new jobs planned for next year.”

“However, they see the biggest barrier to growth once again to be a shortage of engineers with the right skills, and most expect this situation to worsen next year.  We strongly urge more young people, particularly young women, to consider a career in engineering and the fantastic and expanding opportunities that exist in the sector.  If Ireland is to continue to be an attractive destination for high-value foreign direct investment, if we are to meet our goals in housing and broadband, and if we are to realise the ambitions mapped out in Project Ireland 2040, a ready supply of talented engineers will fundamental to realising these goals.”

The Engineers Ireland survey indicates that 6,014 engineering jobs will be created in 2019, with 59% of organisations looking to hire experienced Civil and Building Engineers next year. Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineers (39%) and Electrical and Electronic Engineers (35%) are also highly sought after by engineering companies.  

Engineering organisations are also now taking measures to address the skills challenges they face, the survey found, with 66% investing in upskilling/reskilling current employees, and 64% collaborating with education institutions.  However, comparatively few have been participating in outreach awareness programmes (7%) or specifically targeting female talent (23%).

Engineers Ireland is also to announce the winners of the ninth Engineers Ireland Excellence Awards, in association with ESB, at a special ceremony this Friday, 9 November, at the InterContinental Dublin, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4.

The Engineering Project of the Year shortlist, the flagship category which involves a public vote and is sponsored by Transport Infrastructure Ireland, features: 

  • Kevin Street Garda Headquarters by Atkins
  • M17/M18 Gort to Tuam Motorway PPP by Barry Transportation and Arup
  • Kerry Central Regional Water Supply Scheme by Irish Water, in association with Kerry County Council, Nicholas O'Dwyer, TOBIN Consulting Engineers and Glan Agua
  • Northern Spire Bridge by Roughan & O'Donovan, Buro Happold, Farrans and Victor Buyck
  • Shannon Airport Rehabilitation of Runway 06-24 by RPS
  • BXD 400 - Luas Cross City by Sisk Steconfer JV

For further information about the Engineers Ireland Excellence Awards, visit: