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 Rebecca Tighe from Intel to give some advice for people considering this job:


Rebecca Tighe

Process Engineer


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  Rebecca Tighe
Engineering in general is an extremely broad career and can lead to you many different applications and many different parts of the world. It’s also a career which can give you a set of skills highly adaptable to other careers. In Intel the same applies. Day to day the job changes so being able to change with the job is important. Make sure you are adaptable and can apply your skills in many different situations.

The Investigative person will usually find a particular area of science to be of interest. They are inclined toward intellectual and analytical activities and enjoy observation and theory. They may prefer thought to action, and enjoy the challenge of solving problems with clever technology. They will often follow the latest developments in their chosen field, and prefer mentally stimulating environments.
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Labour Market Sector Profiles

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Other Craft Occupations

Key points for selected other craft occupations

  • In 2015, there were approximately 113,000 persons employed in other craft occupations, representing 5.7% of the national workforce.
  • Approximately 70% of overall employment was concentrated in three sectors: manufacturing (almost 40%), wholesale and retail (18%) and construction (14%).
  • Almost 75% of overall employment was concentrated in three trades: electrical & electronic (31%), metal machining, fitting and instrument making (25%) and vehicle (17%).
  • In 2015, overall employment levels were very similar to the 2010 level (average annual growth was only 0.2%).
  • Over the five year period, however, the change in employment varied by occupation, with growth observed for metal machining, fitting & instrument making trades (6.5% on average annually) and metal forming, welding & related trades (6% on average annually); the former group of trades experienced the largest increase in the numbers employed (approximately 8,000); in contrast, the strongest rates of decline were observed for printing trades (6.9% on average annually) and electrical & electronic trades (3.5% on average annually).
  • Between 2014 and 2015, employment levels in most occuptions did not change significantly, with the most pronounced change observed for vehicle trades (with a 2,500 decrease).
  • Approximately 75% of all persons employed in the selected occupations was aged 25-54; metal forming, welding & related trades had the youngest workforce, with 17% aged 15-24 ─ above the national average share.
  • Approximately 57% of all persons employed in the selected occupations had attained higher secondary/FET qualifications, considerably above the national average of 37%; in contrast, the share with third level qualifications (almost 30%) was below the national average; however, the share with third level qualifications varied by occupation: almost 40% of employed electrical & electronic engineers had attained this level of education (within this category, the share was just over 80% for computer repair and maintenance engineers); in contrast, the corresponding share was only 7% for butchers, fishmongers and related trades.
  • Approximately 30% of all employed butchers, fishmongers and related trades were non-Irish nationals ─ the highest share and above the national average.
  • The majority of other craftspersons in employment were male and worked fulltime; the workforce of other skilled trades workers had the highest female representation, at 30%.

Shortage Indicators


  • The evidence points to a growing demand for electricians, which is reflected in the increased number of job vacancies advertised in 2015, as well as the fact that employers are experiencing difficulty in sourcing these skills from within the EEA area (approximately 90 employment permits were issued in 2015);
  • A simultaneous presence of a large number of job seekers (2,000 in May 2016) and vacancies (3,400 in May 2016), coupled with transitions data, point at a higher than average turnover rate.
  • A significant portion of job seekers (electricians) hold at most Junior Certificate qualifications, indicating that sourcing suitably qualified electricians may be an issue for employers
  • Supply from the apprenticeship system has declined sharply in recent times (from almost 1,000 in 2010 to less than 400 in 2015) and recent increases in intake (including a new field service engineer apprenticeship) will require a number of years before being reflected in higher output.
  • With growth emerging in construction and accelerating in other sectors, the demand for electricians is expected to increase.


  • In 2015, there were many vacancies for welders with TIG/MIG, ARC, butt/electric fusion skills.
  • Many of these vacancies were arising due to turnover (1,900 movements between employers were identified in 2015)
  • In May 2016, there were 1,325 job ready welders who were seeking employment through the PES.
  • On the supply side, 283 FET awards were made in 2015 in manual arc and oxy-acetylene welding; nonetheless, a shortage of TIG/MIG welders continues to persist, with demand expected to remain strong particularly due to the growth in the construction and metal fabrication/machining (e.g. high tech manufacturing) industries.
  • The new proposed apprenticeships at levels 5 and 6 on the NFQ (advanced craft welder) may help alleviate the shortage once apprentices qualify (courses are 3-4 years in duration).

Tool makers/fitters

  • The strong performance of the high tech manufacturing sector is driving the demand for tool making skills.
  • In response to the growing demand, a number of new courses and modules have been introduced in recent years, including new manufacturing apprenticeships proposed by the Irish Medical Devices Association (IMDA), with an anticipated 100 enrolments annually over the 3-4 years of the programme; this is in addition to the 32 awards made through FET courses in 2015 (an increase from 10 in 2013) and an increase in apprentice intake.
  • Nonetheless, shortages of tradespersons with expertise in making highly complex precision tools are expected to persist in the short run.


  • Demand for butchers/de-boners has been driven by the strong performance of the meat processing industry.
  • The industry has been reliant on non-EEA workers (the share of non-Irish nationals in the workforce was 29% in 2015).
  • Supply will be increased through the proposed new apprenticeship in butchery and fresh food retail (with an expected 60 annual registrations per annum); however, the problem with attracting and retaining skilled butchers/de-boners following completion of their training is expected to remain a challenge for the meat industry in Ireland, with the issue likely to be exacerbated by the greater availability of job opportunities across other growting sectors of the economy.

Labour Market Research 21

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

Regional Labour Markets Bulletin October 2016 
A Report prepared by the Skills and Labour Market Research Unit in SOLAS.
Regional Labour Markets Bulletin 2014 
Report prepared by the Skills and Labour Market
Research Unit in SOLAS aimed at providing an analysis of the key labour market indicators for each of Ireland’s eight administrative
regions: Border, Dublin, Mid-East, Midland, Mid-West, South-East, South-
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
Assessing the Demand for Big Data and Analytics Skills 2013 - 2020 
May 2014 EGFSN report identifying measures to build up the Big Data and analytics talent pool in Ireland over the period up to 2020 in line with enterprise demand.
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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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