Engineers Ireland has become one of the first organisations to sign an agreement with its counterpart in the UK to ensure ongoing recognition of qualifications between the jurisdictions.  

The deal means Irish engineers will continue to have their registered professional title from Engineers Ireland recognised if they seek work in the UK post-Brexit. British engineers will have their title recognised here.

Currently, there is recognition of qualifications under the professional qualifications directive, but Engineers Ireland decided it was important to have something in place to ensure there was a seamless transition no matter what shape Brexit takes.

Since after the UK's Brexit referendum, members of Engineers Ireland wanted the organisation to ensure there was a bilateral arrangement in place. That is why the group have struck a deal with the Engineering Council in the UK.

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Caroline Spillane, Director General of Engineers Ireland, said it means Irish engineers can continue to be mobile, and in circumstances where Irish engineers and Irish engineering firms are involved in collaborations and consortiums in the UK, they can continue to trade.

This puts guarantees in place for chartered engineers, incorporated engineers, engineering technicians and associate engineers.

The agreement also provides assurances for members in Northern Ireland, in particular. "We have quite a number of members in the North, and quite a number of members in the UK. They are involved in critical infrastructure development, they are involved in all kinds of projects, all sorts of economic activity, and this gives recognition to their titles, gives them mobility and gives them certainty," Ms Spilane said.

Engineers Ireland recently did a survey that found that more than 6,000 new jobs will be created in the engineering sector next year. Ms Spillane said Engineers Ireland would like to see lots of young people to consider engineering as a career, and to study engineering at third level but they are also seeing increasingly that employers are going abroad in search of talent. "Around a third of new members have come from countries outside of the British Isles," she said.

"I think increasingly we are going to be relying on engineers from all across the world. We have engineers coming from Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Italy, Spain because there is such a draw on talent, and engineering is such a mobile profession."