2017 Engineering & Construction Salary & Employment Overview
2016 was an exciting and industrious year in the Construction Sector. The Construction Industry Federation (CIF) reported that the sector is currently the biggest generator of jobs in Ireland, hiring at a rate of approximately 1,000 people a month. This has been largely driven by upsurges in activity, new orders and employment.
The task of finding skilled workers in the 3-10 years’ experience bracket remains a challenge as this was the group most affected by the recession, and therefore were forced to find work outside of Ireland. However, many talented Construction and Engineering professionals are now looking to return to our shores. The onset of Brexit has seen a number of emigrants beginning to return from the UK. Irish professionals in the Middle East, Canada and Australia are also beginning to show an interest in returning home, but this has been at a slower rate as salaries and benefit packages there tend to surpass current market levels in Ireland. Demand for staff in this sector will only increase as recruitment remains high on the agenda in 2017 and a focus on enticing the Diaspora back to home shores will be a key component in meeting this skills requirement.
Enticing the Diaspora back to home shores will be a key component of meeting this skills requirement
The appetite for change is starting to reappear among the professionals that remained in Ireland during the recessionary years, as well as those that sought work elsewhere. Professionals that remained in Ireland during the downturn are now looking at possible new roles within other organisations that offer them greater prospects for career progression. This was reflected in our survey, with 33% of construction professionals currently seeking new job opportunities and a further 13% looking to move jobs within the next 3 months. The number of applicants who currently live abroad but are interested in roles in Ireland has also increased, especially during the 3rd and 4th quarter of 2016.
The shock Brexit result and the uncertainty that resulted from it has led to a number of highly skilled candidates looking to return home. Candidates coming from the UK market are highly sought after in Ireland, by Tier One Contractors, Sub-contractors and Consultancies alike. Project Managers with a Civil Engineering background and Quantity Surveyors at all levels are especially in high demand. Consultancies are actively looking for professional Quantity Surveyors and Contractors are looking for strong Quantity Surveyors with main contractor experience. Demand for Civil / Structural Engineers, BIM professionals and Building Services Engineers is now beginning to outstrip supply as the available talent pool struggles to meet demand. Demand for Architectural Technologists with strong Revit skills and up to five years’ experience is also extremely high.
Organisations are looking for experienced Construction and Engineering professionals to join their teams as the increase in Construction activity shows no sign of abating in the year to come.
Retaining talent is a high priority for organisations in this sector. Our survey reveals that 29% of construction and engineering professionals received a pay increase of 10% or higher in 2016. Many companies are now offering to pay professional fees as part of their employee benefits package. While a return to pre-2007 salaries is quite a way off, organisations are steadily increasing the salaries they are offering.
Salaries in Ireland do not equate with Canada, Australia or the UK, but they are improving along with the overall benefits package that is being offered. In many cases, pension contributions, travel allowances or cars, as well as support for continued education, are playing a significant part in the packages on offer here. For breakdown of salaries in this sector please click here.
The Year Ahead
With an excess of €17bn worth of projects in planning for 2017, the Construction and Engineering industry in Ireland is set for further growth, employment and activity. Major Capital Investment projects, along with Residential and Commercial activity, will lead to a large volume of new roles coming to market in 2017. The Irish economy is growing at a solid pace. Direct employment in construction is expected to increase from an estimated 137,000 in 2016 to around 213,000 by 2020. There was a rise in interest in college applications for courses in Architecture, Engineering and Construction during 2016 and this looks set to continue in 2017.
There is a rising buoyancy surrounding private non-residential construction sector projections. After years of reduced investment, there are deficits in public sector infrastructure. It is necessary to focus on them over the period of 2016-2021 by using the €42 billion of investment in the Capital Plan and a further €4 billion will be provided, according to the Programme for Government.
The Government aims to accelerate all types of housing supply and provide 47,000 new social houses over the next six years, as well as target an annual overall build of 25,000 units per year. €5.5 billion will be available for social housing and infrastructure. The Government’s plan also aims to help private housing infrastructure and build on the private rental market.
2017 promises further sustained growth for the Construction and Engineering sector. The commencement of many high profile projects, along with house building and robust commercial activity, will see a hive of activity for the industry. This, in turn, will lead to significant opportunities for Construction and Engineering professionals in Ireland in 2017.
Our construction and engineering team are consistently ready and prepared to assist with hiring requirements for small and large projects. Please contact Sarah Doyle if you need assistance with your recruitment at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01 661 0444. To view the full survey results please click here.