One of the questions posed by the CIF announcement of the projected requirement for 112,000 construction workers of all skills, over the four year period up until 2020, and beyond, is what about all the Architects, Engineers, Surveyors and Construction professionals that will be required to bring all the exciting projects to design and completion?

The 6.9% of GNP in 2016 is scheduled to rise to 10.0% of GNP in 2020. The 2016 output of 14,000 dwellings alone, is projected to rise to 32,500 in 2020, an increase of 230%! There has seldom, if ever, been a more opportune time for professional in the construction industry to return to Ireland. Many of Ireland’s youngest and finest saw their dreams shattered by the collapse of the Celtic Tiger, and were forced to uproot their families and emigrate to Australia, the UK, Canada, the Middle East and elsewhere in the period from 2008 to 2013.

Security of employment, high housing costs and uncertainty about raising a family were all critical factors in their heartbreaking decision to emigrate. Today, many young professionals, who have made a new life for themselves and their families, in foreign lands, rightly ask themselves, what do I have to go back to? What incentive is there for me to uproot and return? Once bitten twice shy!

In a relatively short time, Ireland has transformed itself from financial ruin to Europe’s fastest growing economy, at 4% this year. No longer the boom and bust cycle of the wildwest days of the first decade of this century, rather a steady and purposeful – if painful – journey to sustainable recovery over the past five years. Unemployment has been falling month on month for the past two years to a new low of 7.5% last month. Government has at last responded to the chronic shortfall of housing, both for ownership and rental, and the Central Bank has recently relaxed it’s rules for first time buyers deposits and incentives, to a level which is well within the reach of young couples income levels. Suddenly, the purchase of a home is no longer outside the reach of first time buyers, and developers, local authorities and housing co – ops are planning a number of major, exciting new housing developments throughout Ireland and in the greater Dublin region. A new round of salary increases is being implemented after several years of stagnation, and a new era of trust in the future is gathering pace.

Now is the time to seriously consider a return home, not just for the new vision espoused by all the major political parties, but also for all the reasons which made the decision to emigrate so painfully valid, no longer so.

If you are considering a move back to Ireland and wish to discuss the current opportunities within the Architecture, Engineering and Construction industries, contact me on c.herlihy@GPCireland.com or call 086 8055216.

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