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Construction jobs Ireland: hiring trends & in demand roles 2019

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The most recent crane count in Dublin City spotted 123 cranes and unemployment is at its lowest level since 2008. Overall construction activity has eased slightly but commercial activity has increased, and employment also continues to rise.

The well-reported skills shortage within construction also persists, which is good news if you have a construction or property education or background.

So much so it’s recently been reported that recent retirees are being targeted for heavy plant machinery construction jobs as the demand for workers continues to rise.

From my own experience, recruitment in the second quarter is always a quiet time but it’s safe to say that this year it’s been far busier than any of us could have anticipated.

The interest in construction is also rising in younger generations and the application numbers for construction and property related college courses are increasing, which is great news for the sector.

Who is hiring?

Both contract and perm construction roles are plentiful at the moment. The construction employment market has gone through a seismic shift in the last 12 months meaning there’s a high demand across a range of areas.

Building services engineers, architects, civil engineers, structural engineers and quantity surveyors are in particular demand. However, we are also seeing a spike in demand for skilled tradesmen, which we expect to increase further.

In construction and property, a recurring theme is a lack of suitable candidates with 3-10 years of experience, usually those who fall between the 25-32 age bracket.

Taking our quantity surveyor clients as an example, 95% of our client base within QS is hiring right now, many of whom are looking for professionals with 3-7 years of experience in any of the following fields:

  • Commercial
  • Mixed-Use
  • Residential
  • Data Centres
  • Capex Projects

Where are the construction and property jobs?

Dublin has led the charge in terms of recovery, but the rest of the country is following suit.

There are several large pharma, data centre, and residential projects kicking off in Galway, Cork, and Limerick which has seen a nationwide increase in construction and property jobs, specifically for:

What about salaries?

We have seen salaries increase across the board particularly in construction with the following roles demanding high salaries:

  • Project Management < 10%
  • Site Engineer < 15%
  • Quantity surveying < 10%

Construction and property salaries are up on average 10% with some positions representing 15-20% uplift compared to 2018 as well as more comprehensive benefit packages including:

  • Pension
  • Healthcare
  • Life Assurance
  • LTIP’s

Rates are considerably higher on the contracting side, but consultancies are beginning to follow suit.

Regulatory changes and new career paths

New Building Control Regulations may have created new roles such as “Quality Assurance”, “BCARR Engineer & Doc Controller.”

These roles are an integral part of site setup and in the long term, they should ensure that the construction sector operates to a higher standard.

Quantity Surveying is also going through a rebrand with Cost Planning and Cost Management becoming more common.

Across the board, the biggest challenges within construction at the moment are skills shortages, increasing tender levels and inflation levels, but overall the outlook is bright.

Construction companies in Dublin and across Ireland are progressing with confidence and salaries are becoming more competitive to attract the right talent.

There is an abundance of opportunities in the Irish construction sector, and this positive trend looks set to continue.

Interested in learning more about construction job opportunities?

If you would like to have a chat about opportunities specific to your qualifications, please call me on (01) 9476210 or email me on