Engineers Ireland’s latest report found that 79pc of engineering companies in Ireland are planning to recruit new staff this year.

While the Covid-19 pandemic has affected recruitment in a number of industries, a new report suggests that the engineering sector has remained resilient.

Utility organisations such as electricity, water, gas and telecommunications companies were most optimistic, with 94pc looking to hire engineers in the year ahead. Meanwhile, the pandemic’s effect on the construction industry meant that civil and building engineers were more impacted than the average engineer, according to the report.

For existing engineers, junior professionals were more likely to be affected by the pandemic, with one-quarter of junior engineers saying their career had stalled. However, as a whole, the sector remained strong with just 19pc availing of Covid-19 wage subsidies last year and two-thirds getting a pay increase.

Respondents also remained optimistic about engineering careers, with 81pc agreeing that engineering is a rewarding career path. This was the highest level recorded in an Engineers Ireland barometer report to date.

This is fourth annual barometer report examining the sector. It is based on a survey of engineering professionals and organisations across Ireland and had almost 2,000 responses after data cleaning.

Engineers Ireland president Maurice Buckley said the sector has demonstrated great resilience throughout a very challenging year.

“The results presented in this report show that the profession remains robust in terms of remuneration, job opportunities and outlook in the face of the pandemic, Brexit and the general economic strain,” he said.

“As we look optimistically to 2021 and beyond, there are currently plenty of job opportunities in the engineering sector in Ireland according to our members, although there is understandably more uncertainty than at this time last year.”

The report has been launched as part of Engineers Week, which kicked off on Saturday (27 February) with a number of virtual events taking place around the country.

Caroline Spillane, director general of Engineers Ireland, said Engineers Week 2021 is focused on celebrating the world of engineering in the country.

“With opportunities very visible across the sector, in particular for junior engineers, we hope to inspire students around the country through stimulating online events, shows, workshops and movies, to consider a career in our industry to meet the ongoing robust demand,” she said.

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Credit: Jenny Damody | Silicon Republic | Siliconrepublic.com