Monday 30 May 2016

Lack of engineering and surveyor grads a 'critical concern' for Ireland's future

Published 16/02/2016 | 07:48

Patricia Byron, director general of the SCSI
Patricia Byron, director general of the SCSI

The lack of graduates emerging from construction-related courses has become a 'critical concern' for Ireland's future, according to a series of engineering and surveyor groups.

According to the Association of Consulting Engineers of Ireland (ACEI), Engineers Ireland, and the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI), Ireland has a substantial deficit in engineering graduates to meet the future demand of the construction sector.

Speaking about the shortage, Engineers Ireland director general, Caroline Spillane, said that prospective students were scared away in a similar fashion to those taking computing courses in 2001.

“In 2001 when the dot com bust occurred, prospective third level students did not choose computing courses on their CAO applications and four years later there was a shortage. It is forecasted that in 2017 only 38 civil engineers will graduate in Ireland which is a direct consequence of the construction crash.“

“Civil, electrical, technological and construction-related engineering skills are in great demand to meet the requirements of our growing economy and to deliver on the Government’s capital plan which includes major development of infrastructure and housing over the next six years and beyond” she said.

SCSI director general, Patricia Byron, said that at current rates Irish graduates will only be able to fill half of the new roles expected to be created by 2019.

“Based on a conservative forecast of economic growth up to December 2019, over 2,000 new jobs are expected to be created across the surveying profession, split evenly across construction and property roles.  Looking at current student enrolments on surveying courses, there will only be enough Irish graduates to fill half of those positions” she said. 

The calls for more graduates from the construction sector comes ahead of the closure of the CAO online facility on July 1.

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