Almost 8,000 engineering jobs could be available this year, according to a forecast by Engineers Ireland.

Its latest employers' survey found that there was strong demand for engineering talent across a range of specialities; including civil, electrical and mechanical engineering.

This is despite a drop-off in software engineering positions following a number of high-profile job cuts by major tech firms.

"We're seeing [demand] across the whole range of the economy, for example data centres, the whole energy sectors for renewables, onshore and increasingly offshore is going to be a challenge," said Damien Owens, director general of Engineers Ireland. "And just general construction for the economy - be it housing, or roads - so there's a huge amount of opportunities out there."

However Engineers Ireland warns that filling the roles will be a challenge - as those in the sector report a continued lack of available talent.

A survey by Engineers Ireland found that 72% of its members were concerned about a shortage of engineers with the correct skills.

This was seen as the main barrier to growth for firms.

We need your consent to load this rte-player contentWe use rte-player to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences

"If you go back to about 2018 and a similar report we estimated there was 6,000 of a gap [in engineers]", Mr Owens said. "Had people gone and done the CAO applications, they now would be graduated or would have graduated and would be in very rewarding jobs.

"The demand for engineering talent is a global problem - it is growing exponentially, we need more engineers and more technology competence, so that's a huge issue."

A continued shortage of talent could have significant implications for a number of large projects in the country, including the aim of increasing the number of homes being built each year.

Major infrastructure and renewable energy projects - including the large off-shore wind farms planned in the country - could also be hampered by a lack of engineers, it said.

"We need engineers to do that, but also we have to work smarter", Mr Owens said. "We're seeing companies come up with ways of building houses almost in a factory system, so they can be delivered on-site."

Today is the closing date for CAO applications, and Mr Owens called on students to consider a career in engineering as they make their last-minute adjustments to their choices.