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 Shane Callanan from Smart Futures to give some advice for people considering this job:

 

Shane Callanan

Electronic Engineer

Smart Futures

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  Shane Callanan
Being an Engineer is a great career choice. It offers so many opportunities both in Ireland and world-wide. Most positions will have terrific travel opportunities after a few years experience under your belt, and if you choose you course carefully your qualification will be recognised by employers all over the globe. Also an engineering qualification will open doors into management roles if that is your preferred career choice, but the reverse is not the case (if you do a course outside of engineering, you will probably not be able to branch off into engineering a few years after graduating).
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Realist?
Realist 
Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.

Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
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Other Craft Occupations

Key points for selected other craft occupations

  • In 2013, there were approximately 106,000 persons employed in other craft occupations, representing 5.6% of Ireland's workforce
  • Approximately two thirds of overall employment was concentrated in three sectors: manufacturing (33%), wholesale and retail (20%) and construction (14%)
  • Three quarters of overall employment was concentrated in three trades: electrical/electronic (33%); metal machining, fitting and instrument making (24%) and vehicle (18%)
  • Between 2008 and 2013, employment in other craft occupations contracted by 6.2% on average annually, compared to the national average rate of 2.4%; with the exception of butchers, fishmongers and related trades, employment in each occupation decreased; the most rapid declines were observed for other skilled trades and electrical and electronic trades, at 10.1% and 9.1% on average annually respectively
  • Over the five-year period, there were approximately 40,000 net job losses ─ the largest absolute decrease in employment was observed for electrical and electronic trades
  • Overall employment in 2013 was the same as the 2012 level; employment levels for most occupations remained relatively static during that year
  • Just over 75% of all persons employed in the selected occupations was aged 25-54
  • Approximately 56% of all persons employed in the selected occupations held higher secondary/FET qualifications, exceeding the national average of 37%; however, 27% held third level qualifications — considerably below the national average of 47%; the share of third level graduates varied across the occupations: 42% of those employed in electrical and electronic trades held third level qualifications (within this category almost 90% of computer repair and maintenance engineers held third level qualifications); in contrast, the share was only 10% for butchers, fishmongers and related trades
  • Almost 40% of overall employment for butchers, fishmongers and related trades was composed of non-Irish nationals — one of the highest shares among skilled trades in the national workforce
  • The overall workforce of most occupations was predominatly male.

Shortage Indicators

In 2013, vacancies were numerous for electricians (industrial), fitters, toolmakers and welders. Some of the vacancies have been identified as difficult to fill, with a shortage particularly evident for:
  • tool makers – recent developments in tool making technology have enabled many Irish based companies to successfully compete for contracts previously outsourced to low cost locations; this, accompanied with the strong performance of the medical devices and pharmaceutical sectors, has created demand for tradespersons with expertise in making highly complex, regulated and precise tools; this has also been illustrated by an upsurge in the recruitment of apprentices in this craft
  • welders (tungsten inert gas (TIG) and metal inert gas (MIG)) – specialised welding skills are required across many sectors, including, utilities, high tech and traditional manufacturing, as well as construction activity associated with the expansion of facilities for high technology sectors.
The strong anticipated growth in the construction sector will result in a strong demand for electricians, welders and other craft workers. While no shortages of meat processing skills have been identified, it is recognised that many food processing companies are experiencing difficulty in attracting and retaining skilled butchers/de-boners.

Labour Market Research 14

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

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-
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.
EGFSN - Report for HE Providers on Springboard 2014 / ICT Level 8 Conversion Programme 
February 2014 Report "Guidance for Higher Education providers on current and future skills needs of enterprise - Springboard 2014 / ICT Level 8 Conversion Programme"
Addressing Future Demand for High-level ICT Skills (EGFSN) 
Study forecasting the demand for high-level ICT skills to 2018, across all sectors of the economy in Ireland.
The Green Economy in Ireland (EGFSN) 
This study identifies the future skills needs of enterprise engaged within the green economy in Ireland and proposes a range of measures to ensure that their future skills base will drive business and employment growth. The study informs education and tra
National Skills Bulletin 2013 
Current National Skills Bulletin, providing a detailed overview of the Irish labour market. It is based on research conducted by the Skills and Labour Market Research Unit of FÁS (Now SOLAS)on behalf of the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs.
CSO - Central Statistics Office 
This is the primary source of statistical information about our population. Several of the reports generated by the CSO provide the basis of most other reports on the Labour Market.
Skills and Labour Market Reports 
A list of current Publications directly related to Labour Market conditions produced jointly by SOLAS (formerly FAS) and the EGFSN
Forfás - Ireland's national policy and advisory board for enterprise, trade, science, technology and innovation 
Forfás provides the Department of Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation (formerly Enterprise, Trade and Employment - DETE) and other stakeholders with analysis, advice and support on issues related to enterprise, trade, science, technology and innovation.
EGFSN - Expert Group on Future Skills Needs 
The Expert Group on Future Skills Needs (EGFSN) is a body appointed by the Irish Government to advise it on aspects of education and training related to the future skills requirements of the enterprise sector of the Irish economy.
Next Last

Current Labour Market related info  3

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
Irish Independant News - Labour Market 
Current news relating to the Irish Labour market.


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