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The return of Engineering

10 Mar 2017

Conor Bannon

The Engineering sector is slowly but surely experiencing noticeable recovery in Ireland. This industry in particular was affected more drastically than other industries in Ireland during the recession.

During the recession the engineering sector suffered more drastically than any other sector in the Irish economy. The recovery of the IT and finance sectors has been noticeably more significant than that of the engineering sector’s recovery. The government told the electorate that there were green shoots. Our candidates disagreed and as their friends and colleagues rose from the proverbial Celtic Phoenix. Canada, Australia and the Middle East profited as migration rose.

One of Ireland’s leading economists, Brendan Walsh, described the Irish economy as a ferry. The front of the boat was sales, services and IT, the middle being finance and the back containing engineering and manufacturing. When the ferry changes course the stern is always the last to move in the new direction. Our course has changed and the engine of the Irish economy is now driving our economy. Our clients are not interested in green shoots. They are laying roots - establishing new products, new lines of production and new plants that will secure their futures.

The downturn has taught engineering and manufacturing to be lean and agile and how to maximise returns to scale better than any financial institution. In fact these core principals are being incorporated into those institutions. Engineering is continuing its recovery by using its highly educated and versatile people to maximising efficiencies, practising continuous improvement and providing cost effective solution to the challenges of modern industry.  We have seen a major increase in repatriation over the last 12 months and hopefully the brain drain in Ireland is over.

Engineers have learned to be risk averse and this shouldn’t be the case. The top 10 companies in The Irish Times ‘Top 1000 Companies’ list is dominated by engineering and manufacturing companies.

Employers are aware they have to change the modus operandi to attract the top talent required to compete in a global market and salaries are now reflecting this. Packages are on par with those in other sectors.

The engineering sector in Ireland is now enjoying a renewed period of growth on the back of increased consumer demand in both Irish and overseas markets. The market is white hot, across all aspects of construction, manufacturing or property. There is unprecedented demand in the last 6 months for process, design quality and continuous improvement engineers. It is now time to test the water, in fact, it’s the time to jump in.

If you would like to learn more please do not hesitate to contact our vertical market specialist in our Cork, Dublin and Belfast offices to advise you of our current opportunities.