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Construction Survey 2010

Within the last three years 29 per cent of construction professionals based in Ireland have emigrated to find work. Hays, the world’s leading recruiting experts in qualified, professional and skilled people, surveyed 1,199 individuals with a construction background in June 2010 to examine to what extent the lack of building activity in Ireland has driven people abroad.

“Unfortunately we are seeing a migration of our construction professionals again, skilled people forced to look elsewhere due to the lack of opportunities in the State” said Paul O’Donnell, Senior Operations Manager for Hays Construction & Property. “Some 42 per cent of the respondents have left Ireland without their families, a circumstance which makes this transition abroad even more difficult but leaves us hopeful that they will return when work picks up.”

The survey revealed that 21 per cent left for the UK, 23 per cent for another European country, 15 per cent for Australasia and 13 per cent for the Middle East. Over half (51 per cent) of those who have moved away from Ireland said that they believe the quality of life is better where they now reside.

When asked about the revival of the industry, seven in ten are not confident that the Irish construction industry will recover in the next three years.

The research also shows that 72 per cent of architects, engineers and construction management professionals still living in Ireland plan to move in the next three years if there are no signs of improvement.

“From conversations with our customers many people believe recovery could take between five and ten years and that to achieve even this modest ambition, Government investment will need to play a leading role. Unfortunately, the negative outlook and lack of current opportunities may lead to a drain of skills away from Ireland”, Mr O’Donnell said. “Although we’d much rather see these professionals remain in Ireland, our network of offices across the globe has allowed us to help these jobseekers migrate to the Middle East and Africa in recent times. There are a number of countries which are continuing to invest in their infrastructure and are looking for the types of skills many Irish construction workers have in abundance,” he added.

“The 2012 European Championships has created a number of large projects in Ukraine and Poland. There’s also major construction work happening in Libya. Its neighbours Algeria and Egypt are both investing heavily in infrastructure and represent relatively stable environments in which to do business.

The Far East and Australasia also offer significant opportunities for construction workers at the moment. The $8.6bn link between Hong Kong and Guangzhou in Southern China is an example of the size and scale of the projects involved,” added Mr O’Donnell.

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For a PDF report of all the survey's findings, click here.

Please find below a list of newspaper articles published relating to this release:

Irish Examiner - 12 July 2010

30% of construction workers leave

Irish Independent - 12 July 2010

72pc staff in build sector will leave for better life

About Hays

Hays plc (the "Group") is the leading global specialist recruiting group. It is the expert at recruiting qualified, professional and skilled people worldwide, being the market leader in the UK and Australia and one of the market leaders in Continental Europe. It operates across the private and public sectors, dealing in permanent positions, contract roles and temporary assignments.

The Group employs over 6,700 staff operating from 345 offices in 28 countries across 17 specialisms.

For the year ended 30 June 2009:

  • the Group had revenues of £2.4 billion, net fees of £670.8 million and operating profit of £158.0 million;
  • the Group placed around 50,000 candidates into permanent jobs and around 300,000 people into temporary assignments;

  • the temporary placement business represented 56% of net fees and the permanent placement business represented 44% of net fees;

  • Hays operates in the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE and United Kingdom.

For further press information or to set up an interview please contact:

Stephen Flanagan
T. +353 85 803 1199