72pc of IT professionals in Ireland consider emigration

8 Jun 2011

Not only does Ireland have a skills shortage of skilled IT professionals, but 72pc have said they would consider leaving the country in the next three years if the economy doesn’t improve.

Recruitment experts Hays has examined the migration of IT workers to and from Ireland. More than a third (36pc) of the survey respondents originally based in Ireland have left the country in the last three years and 81pc do not believe the Government’s Jobs Initiative will help improve their chances of getting a job.

Some 35pc left for the UK, 23pc for another European country, 15pc for Australasia and 10pc for North America. Three in five (61pc) of those who have moved away from Ireland said they believed the quality of life is better where they now reside. When asked about employment prospects in Ireland, more than half (55pc) are not confident they will improve within the next three years.

“These findings are unfortunate, particularly given the continued investment by global IT companies in Ireland,” said James Milligan, director of Hays IT in Ireland. “However, there are a number of issues. Unlike most sectors in Ireland, there are more jobs in IT than people looking for work.

“The survey shows that 34pc of the respondents immigrated into Ireland. While it’s great that we are attracting top talent to the country, the Government should be investing in training to help people already located in Ireland get some of these jobs. On the evidence of the survey respondents, the IT sector doesn’t believe the Jobs Initiative will deliver that.

“In addition, the performance of the Irish economy is undermining the confidence of Irish IT professionals. Their perception is that they need to get out of the country to succeed.”

Keeping the best people

The survey also showed there is a contrast in the reasons people have moved from Ireland according to their professions.

While IT individuals’ main motivators for moving were salary and their careers, construction workers moved purely to get a job. Accountancy professionals chose to move countries for an improved work-life balance and lifestyle, as well as better weather.

“We need to keep the very best IT professionals in Ireland, whether they are native or from overseas. The Irish Government has done a fantastic job in attracting the top IT companies, but only by keeping the very best people and continuing to attract new talent will the top multinationals continue to invest in Ireland,” said Milligan.

John Kennedy
By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years. His interests include all things technological, music, movies, reading, history, gaming and losing the occasional game of poker.

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