The organisation representing engineers here has issued a strong warning about the impact a shortfall in skills within the profession will have over the coming years.

Engineers Ireland said the supply of third-level engineering graduates and professional engineering apprentices is simply insufficient to meet the needs of a growing Irish society.

In its annual barometer report on the state of the industry here, the organisation said demand for engineers is huge, with 6,000 needed to fill roles in the next year alone.

Civil and building engineers are most in demand it claimed.

But it said that the 55% decrease in civil and building engineering graduates over the last five years was 'a particular cause of concern'.

It added that such shortages have the potential to undermine key infrastructure projects, and are also holding the industry back.

Most engineer employers said they saw a shortage of experienced engineers as a barrier to growth.

However, 'Engineering 2019: A barometer of the profession in Ireland' also points to the benefits on offer for young people considering a career in engineering.

It says salaries have continued to increase, with a graduate engineer now likely to earn €33,750, up 21% on what was realisable five years ago.

The report also points to stability in the sector, with 77% of employers' saying their financial positions improved last year and 89% expecting their financial position to improve in 2019 despite Brexit.

The organisation also said today that it has reached agreements with peer organisations in the UK to ensure that members are able to work across jurisdictions after Brexit.