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AI talent has surged in Ireland, IDA report says

4 Apr 2023

The latest Labour Market Pulse report found that AI talent in Ireland grew by more than 500pc between 2016 and 2022, but hiring rates have slowed from the post-pandemic high.

AI talent has grown significantly in Ireland since 2016, with a growth boost from the recent emphasis on global AI investment. That’s according to a new report by IDA Ireland, in partnership with Microsoft and LinkedIn.

The organisation’s eight edition of its Labour Market Pulse report found that AI talent in Ireland grew by more than 500pc between 2016 and 2022, based on LinkedIn data. IDA Ireland said this growth is in line with global figures.

The report said AI is expected to impact jobs and skills across sectors, with jobs around deploying and regulating these systems to new roles that will be created as the technology is adopted further.

The IDA report also highlighted that recent AI investment has resulted in an “upturn” in AI talent growth, with a boost of 28.5pc for Irish talent between 2021 and 2022.

Globally, LinkedIn members employed in technology, information and media possessed the highest share of AI talent at nearly 6.6pc. For Ireland, LinkedIn members in the education sector had the highest share.

The IDA report said this reflects Ireland’s strong position as “a hub for research and innovation”. The common occupations for AI talent in education were professor, postdoctoral researcher and research assistant.

Hiring rates are slowing

However, the report also highlights that the hiring rate has continued to slow from the surge that was seen after the Covid-19 pandemic. Hiring rates in January 2023 were more than 27pc lower than they were last year.

The report said the labour market appeared to stabilise in 2022, while recent economic headwinds are making employers choose stability over change. This has been seen with the recent wave of tech companies cutting their staff numbers.

Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Simon Coveney, TD, said AI skills and talent are becoming “increasingly vital” for Ireland’s economic growth and competitiveness in the global market.

“As AI continues to revolutionise industries across the board, those with the skills and expertise to develop and deploy cutting-edge AI solutions will be in high demand,” Coveney said.

“Ireland has the potential to be a leader in this field, but it will require a concerted effort to cultivate and attract top AI talent to the country.”

The report shows that 1.36pc of women and 2.55pc of men in Ireland were considered AI talent last year. But the IDA report also noted that the number of women that are considered AI talent is growing faster year-on-year than men, reducing this gap.

IDA Ireland interim CEO Mary Buckley said the increase in women enrolling in AI related education programmes is “particularly welcome”.

“Despite global uncertainty, it’s encouraging to see Ireland react to the need to develop AI skills with a focus on upskilling and reskilling all the way from the workforce to a digital strategy for schools,” Buckley said.

A recent report by Goldman Sachs claimed up to 300m jobs worldwide could be replaced by generative AI, but also highlighted the economic boost these systems could create.

A 2022 report by the World Economic Forum predicted that 97m jobs involving AI will be created by 2025.

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Leigh Mc Gowran
By Leigh Mc Gowran

Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic since November 2021. He has previously worked as an environmental and breaking news journalist, and a local radio presenter. When he’s not writing articles and stressing about the climate emergency, he enjoys judging the latest film releases and perfecting his renowned cooking skills. He also has a love for video games, coffee and cats.

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