Tackling the climate crisis and housing emergency was at the front of minds and on the tips of tongues at the ATU Galway Careers Fair.
Twenty-six employers from Ireland and the UK representing all sectors of architecture, construction, civil engineering, and more attended the event at Atlantic Technological University Galway recently.
The views expressed there emphasised that a shortage of built environment graduates will impact our ability to tackle the climate emergency and deliver critical housing and infrastructure.
Dr Shane Newell, lecturer, ATU Dept of Building & Civil Engineering, Galway campus, pointed out that the built environment is responsible for roughly a third of Ireland’s carbon emissions.
“Therefore, our graduates will have a significant role to play in combating this in the future as we transition towards a climate neutral economy by 2050.”
“Our graduates in the built environment will be at the coalface tackling climate change and this makes it a very rewarding and exciting time to be entering the profession”.
The employers who attended that Careers Fair met and talked with students from Architectural Technology, Civil Engineering, Construction Management and Quantity Surveying degree programmes about new graduate opportunities and placement positions.
A major shift in focus in built environment programmes in ATU Galway in the last decade is the focus on sustainability and tackling the climate emergency.
In ATU Galway, all built environment degree programmes have an industrial placement in third year.
This annual event gives students excellent opportunities to speak directly to employers to discuss potential placement positions which are an important part of their undergraduate studies.
Work placements enhance the student learning experience and ensure students have valuable experience prior to entering the workplace, and increases their employment prospects.
Representatives from companies in attendance shared their views, with Nicola Van Der Walt of Ryan Hanley Consulting Engineers saying that it is an exciting time for students to study in this field.
“There are currently record levels of investment projected in infrastructure projects in Ireland.”
“Ryan Hanley is predicting a strong demand for graduates in the sector over the next couple of years.”
Lisa Elliott, from Shareridge Civil Engineering added, “The calibre and quality of students and graduates we met while exhibiting at the Careers Networking Event at ATU Galway was top class”.
“Students were informed and knowledgeable in theory and practice and we very much look forward to engaging with these fantastic young people within our graduate and placement programmes.”