WHEN James Nugent, managing director of one of Ireland's largest property firms, Lisney, took on seven graduates in May, he snapped up more than he needed – with good reason.
He was looking to the year ahead and with a certain buoyancy returning to the property business, he didn't want to get caught out by a staff shortage.
"I know the company is not going to be hampered by a lack of business, but by availability of graduates. There is a skills shortage," he said.
Mr Nugent, pictured below, recognises the influence Irish parents have on their children's college choices, which contributed to dwindling entrants to property and construction-related courses during the recession.
"The numbers coming in are very few, but anyone graduating from Bolton Street now will get a job," he said of the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) property economics course.
The property industry is competing with firms like Facebook and Google to catch the imagination of school-leavers and their parents, he added, but said many may not understand what a career in property offers.
Some of the Lisney team is dealing with some €5-6bn of international money seeking to invest in Ireland, he said, while other projects include land purchasing for the Luas line.