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Engineering Overview

Engineering Overview

Our 2020 Northern Ireland Salary Guide features Engineering industry insight from our Engineering Specialist Recruiters- request a copy of the guide by contacting us at or read our Engineering sector insight below!

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation report a 15 percentile raise in demand in temporary agency workers and a 2 point raise in permanent demand for 2020. This is a strong showing across the UK’s Engineering and Manufacturing sectors, and NI’s industry is certainly no exception.

In addition to remaining an attractive proposition for new investment from overseas, NI has also seen improvement in the Aerospace & Aviation sectors in NI. These business areas had been in the public eye for negative reasons in recent times however the industry here has continued to grow rapidly, in particular within the aircraft seating and cabin component industries, with NI being the main manufacturing location to service Boeing and Airbus!

In the late 2010s, there had been a significant increase in Graduate Recruitment, with many local Engineering businesses seeking additional Graduate Engineers. A skills shortage remains within Engineering in general, with the vast majority of the industry on a constant look out for experienced talent within Design, Manufacture, Project, Process, Maintenance & Automation and Engineering Management. This looks to continue into 2020 with most growing business recognising the need for home grown talent and all showing a real desire to retain skill sets. This also creates an increase in paid salaries due to retention needs and demand outweighing supply.

For clients seeking Industrial labourers within warehousing, construction, production & manufacturing etc. 2019, much like 2018, was a challenging year to attract skilled, reliable and motivated workers into jobs. Brexit remains a key contributor to the future ability to recruit in these areas. In recent years we have relied heavily on foreign national workers, within the food industry mainly– and eyes are fixed on developments around EU migrant workers post-Brexit.
This is however a highly competitive industry for talent at present and this is not set to change, especially with further growth and investment in the engineering sector and the development of an entrepreneurial base for new set-up organisations.

Automation has been key to the growth of the Engineering sector. As technology advances within manufacturing and production, more and more businesses have invested in highly automated manufacturing systems. This initially reduces the requirement for the blue collar workforce but also creates a necessity for a consistent team of highly skilled Engineers. We have seen positive results across the food sector in NI with some businesses investing as much as £25 million in automated machinery, thus creating an ability to produce their product more efficiently, in a more controlled method and in higher volume!