The Future is Bright for Engineering: Brightwater NI

Brightwater NIConor O’Hagan, Assistant Manager at Brightwater NI, heads up the engineering team where he recruits for engineering professionals from graduate to senior level across Northern Ireland for clients ranging from SMEs to large multinationals. Here he gives an insight into the growth of the industry and predicts even further expansion for the highly-skilled sector.

Recent insights from Engineering UK predict that by 2025, the UK will need up to 1.8 million engineers to accommodate the booming industry. As a region, Northern Ireland has carved out an advanced and thriving niche for itself across various sectors ranging from aerospace and defence to electronics and consumer products. With a manufacturing industry operating with costs as low as 12% less than the rest of the UK, it’s clear that the region is building a solid reputation as a world leader in the engineering world.

With a 30% increase in the number of engineering placements made by Brightwater compared to the same period in 2017, it’s certainly an industry that is experiencing rapid growth. At Brightwater, we’re confident that this growth is set to continue and predict even further expansion for the highly-skilled sector.

Engineering currently accounts for 11% of employment levels in Northern Ireland, and these numbers show no sign of abating. In fact it’s growing three times faster in the region than compared to the rest of the UK. It’s not just good news for the prospects of future engineers; this could have a knock-on effect across a broad range of employment sectors. Engineering has a multiplier effect on the economy. For every single engineering job, 1.74 jobs are created further down the line across various sectors from manufacturing to logistics and transport. This serves to increase productivity levels and strengthen the growing industry so it seems that engineering is vital for Northern Ireland’s economic wellbeing.

In response to this boom, employers are looking to future-proof the industry. Of Northern Ireland’s 1.8 million population, 53% are under the age of 40, and with a strong knowledge-based economy, employers are harnessing the talent pool and investing in apprenticeships. Engineering has experienced a 7% increase in apprenticeships in 2016, with numbers since continuing to rise thus ensuring that the future of the Northern Irish engineering industry is looking exceptionally bright.

To stay ahead of this growth, Brightwater NI recently expanded its Belfast office to meet the rising demand for skilled and specialist workers within the engineering sector. The strategic new appointments of skilled recruiters mirror the current boom in the already successful industry and O’Hagan doesn’t expect this surge to slow down any time soon.

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