Economic growth in Ireland since the 1980s has been built largely on its supply of engineering graduates so today the Engineering industry has evolved into one of the most important contributors to the Irish economy in terms of employment, output and exports.
Many Irish companies, including LotusWorks, employ talented and experienced engineers. It’s estimated that there are approximately 73,000 engineers in Ireland working predominantly in three sectors:
Information & Communications Technology (ICT)
- All of the top 10 multinational technology companies have a significant presence in Ireland
- Five of the top 10 exporters in Ireland are technology companies
- €8bn annually in Irish Medtech exports
- 11 of the world’s top 13 medical technology companies have chosen to make very significant investment in Ireland
- Eight of the top-ten global pharmaceutical companies have a facility in Ireland
- Sector exports = €55.1billion representing over 50% of total national exports
Despite the steady growth within these sectors, Ireland is experiencing a distinct shortage of Engineers with the necessary skills to the point where this is becoming a real drag on future growth.
Ireland needs to continue to attract and encourage individuals into the engineering profession. Engineer’s Week, an annual event promoted by Engineers Ireland and supported by 175 Irish Engineering and multinational companies, including LotusWorks, is doing great work to highlight the diversity of careers available within Engineering to approx. 7,000 students annually. It’s heartening to know that there is huge number and variety of engineering courses at third-level, with degrees on offer in each of Ireland’s seven universities and almost every Institute of Technology.
LotusWorks encourages its employees to engage in educational courses to ensure they keep abreast of the frequently changing technology which supports engineering. Last year, we supported 13 staff in undertaking Engineering Degrees and Masters programmes and this year 9 staff are completing degrees or masters while 12 staff are on our apprenticeship programme. We understand the challenges our clients face in remaining competitive in fast paced manufacturing environments, where they employ engineering expertise to support business objectives and maintain competitive advantage. Unless more is done to ensure a healthy supply of engineering talent in Ireland continued growth may prove to be a real challenge over the next decade and beyond
There is room for optimism as demand for engineering courses has surged by more than 50 per cent in the last five years. A joined up approach with all stakeholders working together to develop initiatives that ensures the correct balance is achieved between our engineering demand and the supply of qualified professionals, is paying dividends but if growth is to be sustained there is no room for complacency and we all have a critical role to play.