Scarce Roles in Construction


With the Government committed to delivering 47,000 social housing units up to 2021, and with an anticipated population growth of one million people over the next 20 years, the Construction Industry Federation says that close to 120,000 construction workers are now required in the sector.

Across the construction sector companies have been hiring at a rate of approximately 1,000 additional employees a month since 2013. There is little to sign of a slowdown.

These various factors create a perfect storm meaning that construction companies across Ireland are looking to hire, now and in the years ahead. Sherlock recruitment has been at the front line of this challenge working with some of the biggest firms around the country. We have been supplying the industry with quality tradesmen and labourers for the last five years, and we are finding that there is a big shortage of skilled construction ready applicants. This creates opportunities for workers looking to change career, upskill or transfer to a new sector.

From our client’s feedback and our own direct experience and onsite knowledge we have identified several roles in the sector where finding quality, available candidates are becoming a real challenge.

  1. Surveying

Surveying covers a wide range of roles, from quantity surveyors who advise on the costs of developing buildings and infrastructure, to geomatics surveyors who map the built and natural environment to provide accurate spatial data for planning, development and conservation.

The period between 2014 and 2017 saw additional employment across surveying of 2,624 with anticipated need for an additional 3,739 surveying professionals between 2019 and 2021.

  1. Engineering

Engineering is another profession which encompasses a wide variety of specialisations. Civil engineers, who plan and design building structures and infrastructure, are most directly involved with the construction industry.

However, some engineering businesses are concerned about skills shortages. In particularly short supply are civil engineers, whose numbers have declined by 45% in the past five years.

  1. Technology

If you follow our blog at all, you would have seen an earlier post about how technology is transforming the way the industry works. 3D modelling augmented, and virtual reality, BIM(building information modelling) adoption and other disruptive technologies are changing how the industry operates.

People with knowledge of these technologies, like programmers and computer engineers, are highly valued in the sector and can command high salaries.

  1. Administration

As construction companies grow their administration needs will grow with them. Whether in HR, office management or IT support, companies value industry-specific experience.

The demand for workers in the sector means that, for many current job postings, prior experience in construction is not a requirement. Moving now to build experience could see workers well positioned to benefit from growth in the sector in the years ahead.