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Ireland – Skills shortages in niche areas

15 July 2013

Ireland’s workforce is increasingly flexible with over a million people entering and exiting the workforce. However, there are still skills shortages in certain niche areas with too few applicants to fill them, according to the Irish Examiner.

“Shortages are primarily confined to niche skills areas and in most instances remain of low magnitude; this years’ [National Skills] bulletin highlights the persistence of skills shortages in the areas of ICT, high tech manufacturing (especially bio-pharma and medical devices), agri-food, sales, marketing, business, finance, and healthcare. Multilingual skills are a key aspect of some of these shortages,” said Una Halligan, chairperson of the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs.

The labour force in Ireland in 2012 averaged 2.15 million, a decrease of 12,000 (-6%) compared with 2011. The decline was brought about primarily by outward migration and withdrawals from the labour force; such as retirement. Irish unemployment currently sits at 13.6% of the population. Higher than the European Union average of 11% and higher than the Eurozone average of 12.2%.     

There are signs that the the education sector is reacting to the job market with a 25% increase in computing at higher level, continuing the upward trend in computing graduate numbers observed last year. “The report published paint[s] a detailed picture of the supply and demand of skills in the Irish labour market, said Ciaran Cannon, Minister for Training and Skills.  

To view the report, please click here

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