After another year of strong growth in the construction and engineering industry, the outlook for 2019 is equally positive. With predictions that construction output would reach €21bn in 2018, the feeling is that this figure will grow even further in 2019 with numerous large projects in the pipeline. Commercial office space, hospitality, retail, data centre, industrial and housing developments are all contributing to growth in the sector and also public proposals like the CAPEX programme and Project Ireland 2040 should see significant investment being made on infrastructure projects throughout Ireland.
Notable projects for 2019:
- The National Children’s Hospital and its two satellite projects which is the biggest single development in the history of the state. -> http://www.newchildrenshospital.ie/design-vision/video/
- Amazon, Google and Facebook, MSD and other major blue chip clients are expanding their operations in Ireland as are some indigenous Irish companies expanding factories throughout the country.
- The largest urban development in Ireland has been launched in Cherrywood Town Centre -> https://www.rte.ie/news/dublin/2018/1210/1016279-cherrywood/
- Numerous water infrastructure projects are also in the pipeline throughout Ireland for 2019 and new roads and existing roads improvement programmes have started, with a lot more in the planning phases for next year -> https://www.rte.ie/news/economy/2018/0205/938359-cabinet-to-meet-on-national-planning-framework/
Pace increases in regional work
In 2018, we saw the recovery in the Irish construction industry spreading to Cork, Limerick, Galway and the Southeast. Further public investment announcements are expected in 2019 for education, housing, roads and hospitals developments in a bid to relieve pressure on the Dublin region.
Many construction companies are experiencing diminishing profit margins in the Dublin area due to rising costs of labour and materials combined with increased competitiveness. As a result, opportunities to deliver projects in more regional locations are becoming more attractive and this trend is set to continue in 2019. This is to the benefit to workers who were forced to relocate to Dublin in recent years and will provide further opportunity to move closer to home over the coming year.
Some of the larger regional projects on line in 2019 include:
- €350m project aims to transform Waterford’s North Quays -> https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/350m-project-aims-to-transform-waterford-s-north-quays-1.3716202
- Cork development on the up as business eyes real capital value -> https://www.independent.ie/business/commercial-property/cork-development-on-the-up-as-business-eyes-real-capital value-37575226.html
- Plans lodged for €30m Connacht Rugby stadium -> https://connachttribune.ie/plans-lodged-for-e30m-connacht-rugby-stadium-030/
- Limerick Knowledge Corridor begins with construction of €11.6m LIT campus -> https://www.siliconrepublic.com/innovation/lit-limerick-knowledge-corridor-engineering-campus
We’ve seen an increase in the salaries being offered nationally. Based on positions we’ve recruited for in the last 6 months, here is some averaged data on the salaries accepted:
In a bid to retain control on spiralling salary demands, companies are now offering improved benefits packages to include pension, healthcare, vehicle, education bursaries, professional subscriptions, living away allowances, relocation packages.
Why change jobs in 2019?
Most would anticipate that improved salary offerings & career progression would be the main driver for a change in employer. However, in speaking with construction workers on a daily basis there is a clear front-runner on the list of reasons to consider a new position:
- Location of projects and associated work-life balance
- Salary increase
- Career progression and professional development opportunities
- Seeking more challenging projects
While there is no doubt that Dublin will continue to be the most active region with the best career progression and highest salaries on offer, individuals are looking for a greater work-life balance.
In summary, the future is bright for the Irish construction industry with some exciting and interesting projects coming online in 2019. Salaries are also on the rise with companies now offering inviting benefits packages to secure the best talent in a very competitive market. Importantly both private and public investment is on the rise outside of the Dublin area and this will give construction workers more options to improve their work-life balance. If you are interested in discussing the market or potential options for yourself, feel free to get in touch with one of the team on LinkedIn -> www.linkedin.com/company/sonas-recruitment-ltd/