Andrew McDowell, vice president of the European Investment Bank (EIB) while speaking at a conference of investment in European infrastructure recently, highlighted the issue of further significant investment in Ports, Airports and Roads, as previously mentioned in these columns.

Increase in investment

A very large increase in investment will require many Civil and Structural Engineers to design and supervise the construction of these facilities in the future. McDowell urged an immediate upsurge in planning for the provision of infrastructure to avoid the long – term consequences of inertia on growth. With the advent of Brexit, the emphasis will be for the East and South East regions of the Republic to reflect the major re-direction of traffic of all modes, from the current routes through the North of the island.

Demand for Civil & Structural Engineers

Currently, the EIB has set aside €400 million for investment in social housing.  Significant additional funds are available for infrastructure investment as indicated. Projects such as the completion of the M11, major upgrade of Rosslare and Waterford ports, and the upgrade of the N25 from Rosslare to Cork to Motorway standard, are but a few of the projects being considered. These will require a significant increase in Civil Engineers, Structural Engineers, as well as Project Managers and Civil Engineering Contractors. With the existing skills shortages, we will surely need to source staff from overseas to meet the demand.

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