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CAO: as Industry talent outstrips supply, Engineers Ireland calls for 6th year students to choose engineering courses at 3rd level

Engineers Ireland is one of the largest representative bodies in Ireland, with over 25,000 engineers.  The membership incorporates all disciplines of the engineering profession across public and private industry, academic institutions and engineering students.

The follwowing statistics:

  • Over 6,000 new jobs predicted in the engineering sector this year
  • 94% of the engineering employers see the shortage of engineers with the right skills as the main barrier to business growth

The organisation has called for sixth year students to choose engineering courses at third level to future-proof economic growth and meet future skills demand. The call to action has come in advance of the CAO deadline of Friday, 1st February, which marks the application closing date for undergraduate courses in Higher Education Institutions.

Caroline Spillane, Director General of Engineers Ireland, said:

“Our recent survey of members has predicted that over 6,000 new jobs will be created in the engineering sector this year.  However, 94% of engineering employers surveyed see the shortage of engineers with the right skills as the main barrier to business growth. The reality is that the number of students moving into third-level engineering and technology sectors needs to be much larger to meet employers’ future needs for graduates.”

The professional body for engineers in Ireland has warned that Ireland has an acute shortage of engineers that could potentially undermine the Government’s Project Ireland 2040 goals. In particular, there are major concerns regarding a shortage of Civil & Building Engineering graduates, the numbers of which decreased by 45% in the past five years.

“If Ireland is to continue to be an attractive destination for high-value foreign direct investment if we are to meet our goals in housing and broadband, and if we are to realise the ambitions mapped out in Project Ireland 2040, a ready supply of talented engineers will be fundamental to realising these goals. I would therefore strongly encourage students making their CAO choices, and particularly young women, to consider a career in engineering and the fantastic and expanding opportunities that exist in the sector.”

Ms. Spillane continued:

“In an effort to demystify the subject of engineering, Engineers Ireland’s STEPS programme – funded under Science Foundation Ireland through their SFI Discover Programme –  and supported by industry leaders, Intel, Transport Infrastructure Ireland, Arup and ESB, encourages primary and post-primary students to explore the world of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), while promoting engineering as a study and career choice.”

She added:

“We must continue to inspire students at primary and post-primary levels to equip themselves with adequate knowledge of STEM, to study engineering at third level and go on to work in the profession. Initiatives such as Engineers Week (2 -8 March), which is part of Engineers Ireland’s STEPS programme, actively encourage students, their teachers, and parents to explore the diverse opportunities a career in engineering offers.”

Engineers Ireland is now calling on engineering firms, companies big and small, libraries, local authorities, schools, and colleges nationwide to get involved in Engineers Week 2019, a seven-day programme of nationwide events taking place from 2 -8 March 2019. As well as events organised by companies, third-level institutions, and the public sector, teachers are also encouraged to run their own classroom-based activities, quizzes and competitions.

To find out more about events taking place around the country, download free resources or to register an event in your locality, visit

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