Ireland’s sustainable development for Ireland framework aims to boost economic performance while reducing the resources we use, fighting climate change and limiting the environmental impacts of our actions. As a result, we're seeing an influx of sustainability jobs and 'green' jobs across Ireland.
These sustainability-focused roles include environmental engineering and energy roles and are in demand across almost all sectors. To get a feel for what’s to come and the skill sets employers are looking for we spoke to Renewable Energy recruitment specialist Sandra Brennan.
Can you tell us about your own role and the clients you work with across the Power & Energy sector?
I am a Management Consultant for TechSkills, which is part of the Cpl Group, and have over 25 years of Engineering recruitment experience.
During those years the sectors I’ve recruited for a range of roles from civil, structural, manufacturing, facilities, design & architecture, chemical, telecoms and power/energy.
Over the last year, recruitment requirements have increased within the renewable energy sector and my clients within that business are spread across a mix between semi-state, consultancies and SMEs across Ireland.
Can you tell me a bit about the Environmental and Energy Engineering sector in Ireland at the moment?
Energy and environmental engineering roles are on the increase in most companies due to the demand for green sustainable energy and the environmental impact of business in Ireland, from data centres, power plants, factories, hospitals, farming, etc.
Ireland has a Carbon Emissions target commitment to reduce the country’s greenhouse gas emissions by an average 7% per year, adding up to 51% by 2030. The present government have promised to enshrine in law a target to reach net zero emissions by 2050.
Currently, Ireland has higher than average emissions of CH4 and N2O as we have the highest agriculture emission contribution from any of the EU Member States.
What are the main challenges & opportunities you see for 2021?
The main challenge will be the recruitment of qualified staff, as the demand goes up the selection of candidates with enough years experience will become an issue.
Covid-19 is not helping with the supply of skilled staff coming into Ireland from other countries. There also needs to be a quicker turn around for Critical skills permits to be issued.
What are some of the key hiring trends in the energy space for 2021?
There are more people completing MSc in Sustainability Developments / Sustainable Energy / Sustainable Resource Management or a post-grad energy-related qualification which is good news. These people will be in demand as sustainable projects look to be a strong focus within organisations across all business sectors in Ireland.
What are the career prospects for renewable energy engineers? What are the most in-demand skills and roles?
Renewable Energy Engineers are in high demand and will continue to be as there is an influx of companies coming to Ireland. There is also an increasing amount of work and developments in the areas of On-shore and Off-shore Wind Farms, Solar Farms (static and floating) and Biomass/Biogas projects.
Salaries for all candidates within this sector will be very competitive which is why we need to be ahead of the curve in attracting suitable candidates to Ireland. It’s going to an exciting and busy time in the energy market! There are currently numerous environmental, energy and sustainability jobs across Ireland that need skilled individuals.