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 Brian Howard from Department of Education and Skills to give some advice for people considering this job:


Brian Howard

Guidance Counsellor

Department of Education and Skills

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  Brian Howard

This career involves working with people in a caring capacity. If you have no interest in helping people personally or educationally then this may be the wrong profession for you.

Empathy, patience and respect are important qualities for this job, in addition to be able to relate well to the person you are dealing with. As there is also a large amount of information to be handled in the job, good organisational, IT and time management skills are also quite important.


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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Building, Construction & Property Building, Construction & Property
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Construction Professional Occupations

Key points for selected construction professional and associate professional occupations

  • In 2013, there were approximately 19,000 persons employed in the selected construction professional and associate professional occupations, representing 1% of Ireland's workforce
  • Approximately 83% of employment was at professional level; the remainder was at associate professional level (i.e. construction related technicians)
  • Almost 60% of employment was concentrated in professional, scientific and technical activities (mostly in architectural and engineering activities), while a further 12% was in construction
  • Between 2008 and 2013, employment in the selected occupations contracted at an average annual rate of 6.8%, compared to the national average rate of 2.4%
  • While employment contracted for all occupations over the five-year period, the strongest pace of contraction was recorded for architects and town planners followed by civil engineers, with average annual rates of 12.3% and 6.8% respectively; in absolute terms, overall employment contracted by 8,000 between 2008 and 2013, with the largest decreases recorded for architects and town planners and civil engineers
  • Between 2012 and 2013, employment contracted by 7% (almost 2,000 net job losses), with the most pronounced decline for the architectural technologists group
  • Over four fifths of all persons employed in both construction professional and associate professional occupations were aged 25-54; the age profile of employed architects and town planners was the most mature, with 14% aged 55 and over
  • Just over 95% of persons employed in construction professional occupations were third level graduates; the share was 77% for those employed in associate professional occupations
  • Approximately 83% of those employed in the selected occupations were male, well above the national average of 54%; at 30%, architects and town planners had the highest share of females; this group also had the highest share of persons who worked part-time.

Shortage Indicators

Strong growth in absolute and relative terms is expected for construction, as this sector emerges from the lows to which it had fallen following the financial crisis and the bursting of the housing bubble. Despite the strong growth anticipated in the medium term, employment is not expected to reach the levels recorded in 2007 by 2020.

The initial impetus for growth in construction is expected to arise from expansion in other sectors, namely bio-pharma/medical and ICT. The construction of facilities for these sectors (e.g. HP, IBM, Ethicon Biosurgery Ireland, etc.), will create demand for construction skills at all levels.

As the economic recovery gathers pace and consumer confidence improves - aided by recent Government initiatives (e.g. the 'help-to-buy scheme') - growth will also emerge in the residential construction sector. Indications of growth are evident in the recently observed increase in the recruitment of apprentices and a stronger performance from the property market.

While the skills overhang from the recessionary period is sufficient to meet current demand, shortages may emerge in the medium term. Indeed, there are already some indications of shortages of construction and property surveyors.

Labour Market Research 14

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

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
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
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.
Labour Market Information by occupation 
Labour Market Information by occupation 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.
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Current Labour Market related 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
Irish Independant News - Labour Market 
Current news relating to the Irish Labour market.

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