Demand for construction and property workers up almost 50pc in February

Demand for construction and property jobs rose 46 per cent in February 2016 compared to the same month last year, according to a new sector resourcing research by leading recruitment agency, Hays Ireland.

Some 25 per cent of these new roles were on residential building projects and 10 per cent involve work on large-scale infrastructural projects.

Electrical engineers, quantity surveyors, architects, and structural engineers, particularly in middle-management roles with three to seven years of experience, are the sector’s most in-demand professionals.

Architecture, hit especially hard during the recession, has seen the most significant growth, increasing by 200 per cent year-on-year in 2015. Salaries are up significantly year-on-year across the sector, though they have yet to return to pre-2008 levels.

Instead, most firms are focusing on offering new candidates other ‘softer’ perks, like a generous work-life balance. Many larger companies are also offering other benefits, like pensions and healthcare contributions and performance bonuses.

Senior managers have seen the highest salary increases, particularly quantity surveyors. Geographically, Dublin is experiencing the strongest demand for candidates, but Cork, Limerick, and Galway are also growing relatively quickly.

Michael McDonagh, director with Hays Ireland, said: “The construction sector’s growth is directly linked to the Irish economy’s steady return to growth, with the outlook for the sector very positive for the period ahead. According to a recent report by Ulster Bank, construction activity has been balanced, with strong growth across the three sub-sectors, namely housing, commercial, and civil engineering.

“Our own figures, demonstrating the demand for construction candidates, mirror this pattern of activity. With demand for construction jobs rising 46 per cent year-on-year, Hays Ireland has also been taking steps to reach out to Irish emigrants living abroad. In particular, our ‘Back to Ireland’ project in the build-up to Christmas targeted overseas Irish coming back home for the holidays. It had significant impact: we were interviewing candidates right through the Christmas period.

“As economic growth continues, we expect to see further jobs resurgence in the construction sector, bolstered by demand for houses, commercial property, and the roll-out of Government’s capital spending programme announced last year.”

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