Is Engineering right for me?

Video: Is Engineering right for me?

Key points for selected engineering occupations

There were 24,300 persons employed in the selected engineering occupations, accounting for approximately 1.3% of Ireland‘s workforce
More than three quarters of employment was in industry (manufacture of computers & electronics, pharmaceuticals and machinery & equipment), professional, scientific and technical activities, and ICT
Over 90% of employment was at professional level (engineers); the remainder was at technician level
While employment contracted by 1.2% on average annually over the period 2005-2010, employment change turned positive between 2009 and 2010 (0.6%); this growth was driven primarily by a 17.5% increase in the employment of design and development engineers in 2010 (a net increase of 1,400 jobs); in almost all other engineering occupations, employment contracted over the period 2009-2010
At 7%, the share of older workers was less than half the national average of 15%; nonetheless, the age profile of employment in these occupations has, on average, shifted further towards older age cohorts: in many occupations (except planning and QC engineers), the share of younger workers halved between 2009 and 2010
The vast majority of those in engineering occupations were highly skilled: at least 80% at professional level and almost 70% at technician level were third level graduates
At an average of 89%, employment in almost all engineering occupations was predominantly male; the employment composition of planning and quality control engineers was almost gender balanced where males only slightly outnumbered females (55% male vs. 45% female)
At 7%, the unemployment rate for engineers was half the national average (14.1%).

Taoiseach Enda Kenny is due to announce more than 100 new jobs

Taoiseach Enda Kenny is due to announce more than 100 new jobs in Galway today at the Cisco Systems electronics and communications plant in Oranmore.

The US multinational intends to expand its presence in Oranmore, where it currently employs about 180 people in research and development and in its European customer “interaction” centre.

The posts have been secured with the assistance of IDA Ireland, and the company is expected to begin recruiting shortly.

Cisco, which was set up by a husband-and-wife team in California in 1984, is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of equipment for computer networks. It was valued at about €30 billion in 2010.

Earlier this year, its European president, Chris Dedicoat, said investment was part of the company’s growing commitment to Ireland. “Ireland is delivering exactly what it was expected to do and more,” he told The Irish Times at the Davos World Economic Forum last January.

The multinational recently signalled that it intended to be “aggressive” in its acquisitions when it bought the NDS Group in a deal valued at about $5 billion (€3.78 billion).

The company established its presence in Galway in early 2007, having already initiated a financial asset management operation in Dublin, which currently employs about 100 people.

Its first Galway base was in the Gaeltacht area of Furbo. It then moved to Oranmore, where it leased a 50,000sq ft premises in Oranmore Business Park.

The company has now earmarked another premises close by for its expansion plans.

Ten million manufacturing jobs worldwide cannot be filled

KOLKATA: An estimated ten million manufacturing jobs worldwide cannot be filled due to shortage of talent, says a recent study conducted by the World Economic Forum and Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu. The study notes that the future of manufacturing is turning into a competition for talent.

It says the shortage is pervasive despite the high unemployment rate in many economies where companies are struggling to fill manufacturing jobs, such as highly trained workers and engineers.

At the same time, emerging economies cannot fuel their growth without more workers in the skilled production category.

The study says the skills gap that exists today is not likely to close in the near future, which means companies that can attract, develop and retain the highest skilled talent – from scientists, researchers and engineers to technicians and skilled production workers – will come out on top.

According to the report, innovation will play a key role in determining which countries and companies can succeed in global manufacturing looking two decades down the road.

The report also looked at the role energy will play in the future of manufacturing, finding that affordable clean energy strategies and effective energy policies will be a top priority for manufacturers and policy makers.

The Economic Times

Amgen announce major expansion of Dun Laoghaire facility

Amgen and the Irish Government today announced the start of a $200 million-plus expansion programme in Ireland that is expected to result in the creation of 100 jobs. The Taoiseach, Enda Kenny T.D. and the Tánaiste, Eamon Gilmore T.D. officiated at the groundbreaking ceremony today, marking the commencement of a major construction programme at the Amgen plant at Pottery Road, in Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin. The investment is supported by the Irish Government through IDA Ireland.

The $200-plus million expansion programme will include the construction of an approximately 11,700 square metres building extension, new production plant, expanded warehouse and the major refurbishment of the existing buildings. In addition, a significant research and development investment will also see the Dun Laoghaire facility undergo a major technology process enhancement to transform the plant into one of the leading biotechnology manufacturing sites in the world.

Today’s announcement comes almost a year after Amgen purchased the former Pfizer plant in Dun Laoghaire, resulting in the continuation of all 280 jobs at the site. The expansion will result in the creation of up to 100 new roles within Amgen, in addition to approximately 350 construction jobs during the 19-month building period. Recruitment for the Amgen positions has already commenced, and many more will be employed in a contract capacity.

IDA Ireland worked closely with Amgen to attract this investment to Ireland against intense competition from other global locatio

Ireland needs to address skills shortage for new tech careers

As National Cloud Week draws to a close in Ireland, industry leaders are concerned about whether the workforce is ready to take advantage of this growth area

The potential for job growth coming from cloud computing is well-known; ensuring there is a properly skilled workforce there to benefit from that is the latest challenge for industry and policy leaders.

With Microsoft, IBM, Amazon and many others basing cloud centres in Ireland, the country has done well in its attempts to become a global force in the area. With that has come the significant potential for jobs growth, as multinationals seek to staff their large data centres and SMEs reskill to provide relevant services and tools to other businesses.

However, with many ICT companies already uneasy about the lack of skilled talent in Ireland and many jobs already going unfilled, there are doubts about the readiness of Ireland’s workforce to take advantage of this growth. “There is a great opportunity within this industry and Ireland is creating talent, but there’s no doubt we could be producing a lot more,” said Paul Rellis, managing director of Microsoft Ireland. “The potential is there for people with any IT heritage and background, but you have to have some kind element of forward planning, some kind of retraining in place.” According to the Microsoft/Amarach Cloud index launched earlier this week to tie in with National Cloud Week, there is the potential for 9,000 jobs to be created through the early adoption of cloud computing by Irish users. Mr Rellis said there is the possibility of a broad range of job types as a result of cloud’s growth, in creative areas as well as technical, and the key will be to find the right people with the right mixture of skills and talents. “You have this problem in most countries, not having enough people trained in an area,” he said. “

The US is no different, for example.” Consultancy company Sogeti Ireland is one firm that has already created a number of jobs due to the move towards cloud computing. According to its chief executive Jeff Schmalbach, as an increasing number of their clients move to cloud it is critical that they are equipped to consult and provide expertise in the area. He said the type of work the company is doing has not changed much as cloud has grown, however there are issues they need to be able to help with that did not exist before. “At first, it didn’t matter a lot to us as to where the application actually sat, but now we’re looking at things like scaleability, speed to market and so on,” he said. Mr Schmalbach said the process of finding the right staff to fill these new roles has not been as easy as he would have liked, however in the end he found that graduates coming through conversion courses met most of his needs. “The first couple of candidates that are coming in are from the conversion courses,” he said. “They’re not helping my high-end needs, but in terms of the bulk of people we need it’s starting to change.” Conversion courses have become quite popular in the past few years, as people seek to turn their qualifications into something that suits the current jobs market.

According to Michael Bradford, of the School of Computing in the National College of Ireland, people from many other areas are going through their Springboard-backed courses with a view to moving into cloud and IT-related jobs. “Demand is high and we’ve had students coming from an architectural background, engineering and even business trying to move to something else,” he said. “We’ve also had people who have an IT degree that’s maybe 15 years old and they want to upskill.” NCI has been quick to adapt its prospectus to include cloud-related courses and, according to Mr Bradford, it has been well received by students and industry. At present it offers a Master’s in Web Technology, which covers many areas of cloud computing, as well as a post-graduate diploma in the area.

Mr Bradford said as a fast-moving industry it was difficult to teach specifics which might be outdated in five years time. He said the most important thing for someone working in the cloud was to be flexible. He said NCI’s approach so far has been to teach people about all aspects of the cloud, from the technical through to the impact it has on business, and ensure they leave with good problem-solving skills and the ability to adapt to new standards as needs be. “The feedback we’ve been getting from industry is that they’d like them to have more of a feel for the broader landscape that cloud solutions are coming through in,” he said. “That includes entrepreneurship and the different business models it creates.” In September, NCI will launch a new master’s course focused solely on cloud computing, while in 2013 it hopes to start a course that looks primarily at the industry from a business point of view.

According to Mr Rellis, education is a vital element in ensuring the country can staff the various cloud jobs that become available, though he feels a better standard of maths is vital, even for those working outside the industry. “We need to continue to keep investment in education, that is extremely important, and we need to start to look at how you use cloud computing to reach citizens,” he said. “The maths issue is one for sure; we want more engineers, developers and coders, but that’s not for everyone. The vast bulk of people will be doing very broad jobs, but everyone needs to have a much better understanding of what technology can do.” Mr Schmalbach said he could see the progress being made by Government efforts, as well as by companies such as Microsoft, to ensure there is a suitable workforce for cloud-related jobs, He said increasingly-even competing companies are talking more to try to find solutions to common problems. “I’ve seen more open dialogue between myself and my competitors to say, ‘How do we solve this together’,” he said. “Sometimes we say no and walk away, but there are creative discussions going on.”

Schmalbach, Rellis and Bradford all agree that cloud computing is more than buzz and predict that it is in reality on its way to becoming the norm in the technology world. All are positive that change is happening to ensure Ireland is ready for that, however the speed of execution may not be as fast as many would like. “This is not just a once-off campaign, it’s a lifestyle change,” said Mr Rellis. “It’s something totally new, the rules of the game are different and there are some good things happening.”

Irish Times Full Story

10m Springboard programme for 2012

Minister Quinn launches call for new €10 million Springboard Programme to provide free part-time higher education places

The education sector will play a central role in successfully implementing the Government’s new ‘Pathways to Work’ plan and ensuring people are ‘Job-Ready’ according to Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn TD. “As Minister for Education and Skills, it is my responsibility to ensure that the opportunities we offer to those who have lost their jobs are flexible enough to meet the entire spectrum of needs of what is a very diverse cohort in the current economic downturn. “An optimal response must be to provide relevant education and training at all levels in areas where we know there are clearly identified employment opportunities available for the right people with the right skills. I’m therefore delighted to announce a new call for Springboard 2012; a key plank of our response.”

Springboard 2012 will provide free part-time higher education places to enable unemployed people to upskill and reskill in areas of identified skills needs where sustainable employment opportunities are expected to arise. Educational institutions have been asked to submit proposals for courses which can be included in the programme.

In keeping with Springboard’s aim of leading to employment, courses in the programme must address an identified current or future skills need. These include information and communications technology (ICT); the green economy; biopharma-pharmachem; the food and beverage sector; international financial services; the medical devices sector; wholesale and retail; and cross-enterprise skills needs, including international sales skills, specialist business and management skills, and entrepreneurship.

It is anticipated that the applications process for students will be launched in May 2012 and that courses will commence from the summer onwards. This new call for Springboard 2012 is in addition to announcements earlier this month of an extra 500 places on the existing Springboard programme and 750 new places on graduate conversion programmes to meet the skills needs of the ICT sector. These 750 places are being provided under the new joint Government- industry ICT Action Plan.

Aim of Springboard: The primary objective of Springboard 2012 is to help unemployed and previously self-employed people to remain as close as possible to the labour market by accessing part-time flexible higher education and training opportunities to up-skill or re-skill in areas where sustainable employment opportunities may arise as the economy recovers.

Eligibility: The target cohorts identified for support through Springboard 2012 are: Unemployed people who already hold a National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) award at Level 5 (FETAC certificate/ Leaving Certificate) or a FETAC award at NFQ Level 6 (Advanced certificate) or equivalent, with a previous history of employment in construction, manufacturing or other sectors of the economy where employment levels are unlikely to recover to pre-recession levels.
Unemployed people with a previous history of employment who already hold a higher level qualification at NFQ Levels 6 (Higher certificate) to 9 (Masters degree), who may also require additional upskilling or reskilling in order to re-enter employment.

Previously self employed people at all qualifications level who may require new qualifications to return to self employment or enter employment. To be eligible to apply for a place, a person must be unemployed and actively seeking employment. Details of eligible payments and other eligibility criteria will be published in advance of 2012 courses opening for application.