About the industry

The Irish engineering sector is a strong vibrant sector and a strong contributor to Irish exports. Success of the sector is driven by strong research and innovation capability and regulatory competence. There is a broad range of engineering companies, in terms of size, scale and product, across both Irish and foreign owned firms, based throughout the regions in Ireland:
  • Irish owned companies that develop, manufacture and export their own (branded) products to end customers and well as companies engaged in sub-supply. The sector includes companies in Agricultural Machinery, Materials handling, Precision Engineering, Process Engineering, Plastics and toolmaking, Automotive and Aerospace and Metal Fabrication and Processing.
  • Foreign owned companies including Environmental, Bio Medical, Aerospace, Medical Device, ICT and Energy companies, many of which have been in Ireland for over 20 years.
  • Engineering skills shortage generally, and an evolving skill set, with demand for digital skills to support technological advances, Industry 4.0, regulatory requirements, etc requiring both upskilling existing workers and development of new graduates.

Brexit is likely to have a significant impact on the Engineered Products sector, in terms of:
  • Currency exchange already impacting competitiveness particularly in low margin sub sectors
  • Presenting potential opportunities for winning new business
  • Potential imposition of tariffs on exports to the UK with serious challenges for companies in affected sectors.
  • Transport and logistics impacts, including increasing shipping times and costs and potential for supply chain disruption.
  • Regulatory divergence, and loss of mutual recognition of specifications and product standards.
  • Need for market diversification to offset reduction in exports to the UK after Brexit, with impact for product development, regulatory compliance, sales/marketing skills.

(Overview information from reports by Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation )
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