Microelectronics businesses operating in Ireland are struggling to recruit sufficient numbers of suitably trained engineers to grow their businesses, a new survey by the industry's body in Ireland has revealed.

The poll by MIDAS Ireland found 89% of respondents found it challenging to recruit suitably qualified and experienced staff across a number of open roles over the past year.

Three-quarters specifically experienced difficulties in finding skilled or unskilled engineers.

Three out of every four of the employers said they had the potential to increase employment if more skilled engineers were available.

Prospects for potential employees appear good, with two-thirds of companies reporting that they had awarded salary increases to staff over the past year.

Three out of every four companies expect business growth this year, driven by demand in Asia and the US.

There are mixed feelings about the standard of innovation in Ireland, with just over half of those polled expressing the belief that Ireland lives up to the stated objective of being an Innovative Island.

But many pointed towards problems with teaching in Ireland, with nearly half of those surveyed saying there is a disconnect between the education system and the skills needed by industry.

Around 8,000 people are employed in the microelectonics sector in Ireland, many at large multinational tech companies.