Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.

We asked Colin Butterly from Construction Industry Federation to give some advice for people considering this job:

Colin Butterly

Site Manager - Trade Entry

Construction Industry Federation

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Colin	Butterly
For anyone who even vaguely considers a trade or a management job they shouldn’t hesitate to pursue it as it can surprise you how capable you can become despite any reservations you may have.

It could even introduce you to different roles in the industry that you hadn’t realised were available to you or felt where out of your reach.

Enterprising people like situations that involve using resources for personal or corporate economic gain. Such people may have an opportunistic frame of mind, and like commerce, trade and making deals. Some are drawn to sales and marketing occupations. Many will eventually end up owning their own business, or managing a section in larger organisations. They tend to be very goal-oriented, and work best when focused on a target. Some have an entrepreneurial inclination.
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Labour Market Sector Profiles

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Construction Professional & Associate Professional Occupations

Key points for selected construction professional and associate professional occupations

  • In 2015, there were approximately 20,000 persons employed in the selected construction professional and associate professional occupations, representing 1% of total national employment.
  • Just over 50% of overall employment was concentrated in professional, scientific and technical activities (mostly architectural and engineering), a further 18% was in public administration and defence, while only 15% was in construction.
  • Between 2010 and 2015, overall employment in the selected occupations contracted (1.8% on average annually), compared to a national average increase of 0.8%.
  • Employment contracted for the combined group: architectural technologists, construction project managers & surveyors (9.4% on average annually) and civil engineers (2.1% on average annually).
  • Employment expanded for construction related technicians (3.7% on average annually) and architects & town planners (2.6% on average annually), although the absolute increases were small.
  • Between 2014 and 2015, while overall employment levels remained relatively unchanged, the largest increase was observed for civil engineers.
  • Approximately 80% of all employed construction professionals were aged 25-54; the share was 75% for construction associate professionals; the most mature age profile was for construction related technicians, with 25% aged 55 or older.
  • Approximately 95% of construction professionals in employment were third level graduates; the share was 86% for construction associate professionals.
  • Most persons employed in each occupation were male; the workforce of architects & town planners had the highest representation of females, at almost one third.

Shortage Indicators

Recent growth in economic activity has also been translated into greater demand for construction professional and associate professional occupations. The seasonally adjusted volume of production index in building and construction has been gradually increasing since 2012. In fact, growth is expected to accelerate in absolute and relative terms over the medium term, as the sector gathers further momentum.

Although growth in residential construction has been gathering pace (the monthly residential property price index has been increasing in the main since March 2013), the initial growth has been concentrated in commercial construction and resulted from expansion in other sectors, namely, ICT, utilities and infrastructure, and high-tech & food manufacturing.

Further growth in commercial building is confirmed by recent job announcements (e.g. Microsoft, Facebook, Apple, University of Limerick, Dublin Airport, Shire, Glanbia and O’Brien Fine Foods).

Although the number of graduates declined (as a result of the reduced intake during the recession), there is significant graduate output from construction related courses (almost 1,500 in 2014/15 at level 8 or above). In addition, there remains some overhang of construction skills, with 420 job ready civil engineers, almost 140 architects, and 120 architectural technologists/construction project managers seeking employment in May 2016.

Nonetheless, signs of tightening in the labour market have been observed, in particular in relation to surveyors, architects and civil engineers.

Shortages of the following skills have been identified:

  • Construction and quantity surveyors with BIM (building information modelling, CAD)
  • Construction project managers with experience.

There is also evidence that part of the difficulty in recruiting construction skills at present is due to a lack of geographic mobility.

Labour Market Research 24

These links are to well established sources of information used to review, evaluate and predict changes in our labour market.

Vacancy Overview 2016 - EGFSN 
Detailed analysis of labour market indicators, vacancy trends and difficult to fill vacancies from the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs (May 2017)
Addressing the Demand for Skills in the Freight Transport, Distribution and Logistics Sector in Ireland 2015 2020 
February 2015 EGFSN report assessing the skills and competency requirements for the Freight Transport, Distribution and Logistics sector in Ireland up to 2020
Vacancy Overview 2014 - EFGSN 
The Vacancy Overview 2014 produced May 2015 by the Skills and Labour Market Research Unit in SOLAS on behalf of the EGFSN, draws on data from newly advertised job vacancies in the following sources: DSP Jobs Ireland and The analysis focuses
Monitoring Ireland's Skills Supply 
July 2015 report on those entering and leaving the Irish education system (primary, post-primary,further education and training, and higher education) spanning the ten levels of the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ)
Regional Labour Markets Bulletin 2015 
Annual report produced by the EGFSN which identifies variations in skills supply and demand across 8 regions (Border, Dublin, Mid East, Mid-West, Midland, South East, South West and West).
Assessment of Future Skills Requirements in the Hospitality Sector in Ireland 2015-2020 
Report from the EGFSN assessing the skills demand within the Hospitality sector in Ireland to 2020 to ensure the right supply of skills to help drive domestic hospitality sector business and employment growth.
Vacancy Overview 2015 - EGFSN May 2016 
A report produced by the Skills and Labour Market Research Unit (SLMRU) in SOLAS for the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs contextualising 2015 vacancy data with what is occurring in the Irish labour market
Future Skills Needs of the Biopharma Industry in Ireland August 2016 
This report reviews the supply of, and demand for, skills within the Biopharma Industry in Ireland up to 2020, with a specific focus on Biologics manufacturing as a growing sub-sector within the industry. It is estimated that 8,400 potential job openings
Regional Labour Markets Bulletin October 2016 
A Report prepared by the Skills and Labour Market Research Unit in SOLAS.
Trends in Education and Training Outputs 
Monitoring Ireland's Skills Supply - A report by the Skills and Labour Market Research Unit (SLMRU) in SOLAS for the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs November 2016
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Current Labour Market Info 4

These sites provide news of current events that relate to our evolving labour market.

IBEC Quarterly Economic Trends 
Download publication in PDF format.
SCSI Employment Opportunities & Skills Requirements for Construction and Property Surveying 2014-18 
New report April 2014 from SCSI outlining the Employment Opportunities and Skills Requirements for Construction and Property Surveying projected from 2014-2018
Shortage of craft/entry level staff in the Hotel Sector 
Hotels and guesthouses are experiencing serious difficulties recruiting suitably qualified craft/entry level staff - IHF Annual Conference 24/2/14
National Skills Bulletin 2015 
The National Skills Bulletin 2015 provides an overview of the Irish labour market at occupational level, drawing on a variety of data sets, which have been systematically gathered in the National Skills Database (NSD) since 2003.

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