Over 70% of engineers say the company they work for is looking at Continental Europe as a new market, followed by the Middle East (44%) and then Asia Pacific and North America (both 38.5%), a new Engineers Ireland survey has found
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Over 70% of engineers say the company they work for is looking at Continental Europe as a new market for trade in the face of Brexit, followed by the Middle East (44%) and then Asia Pacific and North America (both 38.5%) in order of preference, a new Engineers Ireland survey has found.

The survey also found that as many as 24% of engineers based in the Republic of Ireland believe their company is now less likely to trade with Great Britain in the face of a hard Brexit, with one in ten engineering firms in Great Britain and Northern Ireland actively considering relocating operations to the Republic of Ireland, highlighting the shifting business focus of the engineering sector.

Nearly a third of engineers say their firms have had to pause or alter commercial deals unfavourably as a result of Brexit, the survey also revealed.

The new findings follow a similar survey by Engineers Ireland last October which found that a third of engineers in Ireland and the UK have been impacted by a Brexit slowdown, with 40% proactively changing their business strategy to adapt to the new economic challenge of Brexit.

Engineers Ireland Director General, Caroline Spillane, said: “Despite the fact that the UK may trigger Article 50 by the end of this month leading more than likely to a hard Brexit, there is a sense of determination and resolve amongst our members, both here in the Republic and also in the UK, to adapt to the new business reality and look for new opportunities beyond the UK.

“Our latest survey, in a similar vein to the one we undertook in October, shows a continued uncertainty and unease affecting business activity in the engineering sector, which is likely to feature for the foreseeable future. But with economic sentiment tentatively improving in the euro zone, it is clear our members are now looking systematically to new markets, particularly across Continental Europe, in an unprecedented way for new business opportunities and trade to adapt to the new Brexit business reality. And in the Republic of Ireland, the economy continues to cry out for more engineers to facilitate this and to fill the many engineering job vacancies that exist across the country,” Spillane added.

Now in its 11th year, Engineers Week, which runs until Friday, 10 March, is an annual campaign to inspire the next generation of engineers and excite students about the possibilities a career in engineering can offer.

“Engineers Week 2017 is once again providing an opportunity to spark enthusiasm about the engineering profession to people of all ages, especially students and their teachers and parents. Engineering is at the forefront of innovation and during the week students are getting to explore the exciting new developments taking place in the sector that will help meet the needs of a rapidly changing Ireland,” Spillane continued.

Over 680 events for 58,000 participants are running across the country as part of Engineers Week 2017, which is coordinated on a national basis by Engineers Ireland’s STEPS programme – funded as a strategic partner of Science Foundation Ireland’s Smart Futures Programme. To find out more about events taking place around the country or to register an event visit www.engineersweek.ie.

The Engineers Ireland survey of members was undertaken for Engineers Week 2017 and involved a sample of 3,000 member engineers across Great Britain, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Respondents were from the engineering fields of Agriculture, Bio Pharma, Chemical, Civil/Construction, Computing/IT, Electrical/Electronic, Energy/Environment, Mechanical, Water/Wastewater, amongst others.

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Over 70% of engineers say the company they work for is looking at Continental Europe as a new market for trade in the face of Brexit, followed by the Middle East (44%) and then Asia Pacific and North America (both 38.5%) in order of preference, a new Engineers Ireland...