Confidence in the engineering sector is continuing to grow with over 81% of professionals in the area saying their organisation plans to recruit engineers in 2022, according to a new report by Engineers Ireland.
And while the engineering industry faced restrictions and difficulties during the Covid-19 crisis, 80% of public sector engineers, 77% in consultancy and 76% in utilities enjoyed salary increases over the last year, indicating a growing national focus on strategically important infrastructural projects to support renewed growth post-pandemic.
The new report, ‘Engineering 2022: A barometer of the profession in Ireland’, also found that Leaving Certificate choices have shown a growing trend of engagement in STEM subjects over the past 5 years, increasing by 27%. Since 2011 there has been a 178% increase in students sitting higher-level mathematics. The report also states that 95% of the respondents in the public survey believe engineers demonstrate a high level of competence in their work, second only to doctors and ahead of teachers, judges and the Gardaí.
Speaking at the launch of the publication, the Minister for Education, Norma Foley, TD said: “This report showcases the important role the engineering sector plays within Irish society. Promoting STEM subjects is a priority for the Department of Education and it is important that we as educators continue our efforts to strengthen, support and nurture interest in STEM-related careers. The recent STEPS Engineers Week campaign once again highlighted the tremendous career opportunities on offer in engineering, and I applaud Engineers Ireland’s continuing efforts to showcase the exciting world of STEM to the young, curious minds of Ireland.”
Professor Orla Feely, President of Engineers Ireland, commented: “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 galvanize Ireland’s post-pandemic recovery. The encouraging signs of increased STEM interest in our schools must be built upon through strong partnership across industry, the education system and academia to produce an increased supply of the engineers our country so badly needs. Bridging the gap between men and women working in the sector is also a priority and we must do more to address the drop off between females graduating with engineering qualifications and then working in industry.”
Caroline Spillane, Director General of Engineers Ireland, added: “The engineering sector has remained robust throughout the pandemic and has experienced continued growth, with salaries across all engineering disciplines increasing again last year. As we continue on our path to recovery, our members’ skills will be vital to delivering a sustainable, green, and digital future across all aspects of our society and realising the ambition of Project Ireland 2040.”
To see the report in full, visit: https://www.engineersireland.ie/Professionals/News-Insights/Campaigns-and-policies/Reports/Engineering-barometer