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Career Transformation Q1 2023

We need more engineers: build skills and find a job in engineering

Team of builders
Team of builders
iStock / Getty Images Plus

Damien Owens

Director General, Engineers Ireland

With almost 8,000 new jobs anticipated in the engineering profession in 2023, it has never been a better time to consider an engineering career.

The engineering field is one of the most important in our society. 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 that is all around us.

Engineering jobs unfilled

Engineers Ireland’s recent survey of engineering employers has shown that almost 8,000 new jobs are anticipated in the engineering profession in 2023. But there is a problem: there are not enough skilled engineers to meet demand.

Our recent survey of engineering employers also revealed that 72% of member respondents are majorly concerned about the shortage of engineers with the correct skills. These engineering employers see this shortage as the main barrier to business growth. The skills shortage is nothing new. In fact, it has been an issue for years.

Reaching out to schools

In addition to upskilling employees, increasing investment in lifelong learning and collaborating with educational institutions, our survey found that 38% of engineering employers are now engaging with primary and secondary schools outreach programmes to build and develop our future engineering talent pipeline.

Just last week, multiple engineering employers across Ireland joined with third-level institutions to support our future engineering talent as part of STEPS Engineers Week 2023 — Ireland’s largest celebration of the engineering profession.

Almost 8,000 new jobs are anticipated in the engineering profession in 2023.

These innovative and forward-thinking companies are working hand-in-hand with primary and secondary schools to develop the talent of the future. By hosting site visits, visiting schools or encouraging interaction with STEM advocates during the weeklong celebration, our engineering community encouraged students to not only explore a variety of engineering disciplines, but also experience — firsthand — the vital role of engineers in society.

Expanding the profession

We must continue to nurture students’ interest in engineering. We are encouraged by the recent CAO statistic showing a 4% increase in applications for level 8 engineering courses at third level.

Additionally, we all must continue to work together to support and inspire students. Through collaboration and creative engagement between professional bodies, engineering organisations and the education sector, we can strive to nurture Ireland’s future engineering talent and empower the engineers of tomorrow to play their role to develop sustainable solutions for society.

For more information on how to get involved, visit:

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