Construction and Engineering Market Update Q2 2016

Sarah Doyle / July 26, 2016

Construction and Engineering
The Engineering and Construction Sector remains very favorable, with growth expected in all areas of the sector continuing into Q4 and beyond.

Construction & Engineering Overview

There was busy hiring activity in the Construction and Engineering sector in the first half of 2016, with the industry currently hiring at a rate of approximately 1000 jobs a month. Growth in the Irish construction sector picked up at the end of the second quarter of 2016, with faster upsurges in activity, new orders and employment all recorded in this sector.

Meanwhile, confidence around the prospects for continued growth throughout the coming year was at a near-record high. The Ulster Bank Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index® (PMI®) – a seasonally adjusted index designed to track changes in total construction activity – rose to 59.7 in June from May’s six-month low of 55.9. This illustrated a strong monthly expansion in construction activity and prolonged the current period of growth to 34 months. Experts have reported a general improvement in market activity.

Key Trends

Repatriation remains a major factor for 2016, with more and more professionals returning home due to the increase in opportunities becoming available in Ireland, bringing with them the skills and experience acquired abroad. CAO figures this year are showing a rise in interest in careers in Construction and Engineering. College applicants are flocking to third-level courses linked to the economic recovery – with a sharp rise in CAO applications for Architecture, Engineering, and Construction. This upsurge in school-leavers opting for courses in the sector will be crucial to meeting skills gaps down the line. The most in demand roles throughout the first half of 2016 were Quantity Surveyors, Contract Administration, Civil and Structural Engineers, Building Services Engineers and Management roles such as Project Manager, Construction Manager and Site Managers, and this shows no signs of abating as the year continues.

While the future is indeed bright in this sector, one of the main challenges for the industry is the shortage of qualified candidates in Ireland with 3 – 10 years’ experience. This will only become more obvious as the sector continues to grow. The demand for skilled candidates and attracting that talent back home will be one of the main initiatives for us in 2016 and beyond. Ensuring candidates returning home have a realistic expectation of the salaries here is something that has to be addressed. Salaries have remained steady with a notable increase in the requirement for Contract Staff.

What can we expect for the remainder of the year?

Overall, the outlook for the Engineering and Construction Sector remains very favorable, with growth expected in all areas of the sector continuing into Q4 and beyond. The return of talent, coupled with strong talent within the country and the many large projects transpiring means that sentiment across the industry continues to be positive and should remain so for quite a while to come.

If you are looking for opportunities in Construction & Engineering this Q3, for a confidential discussion please contact me on or call 01 661 0444.

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