Photograph from behind adults in training, woman with her hand in the air while a man gives a presentation in the background.
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Irish employers and employees don’t see eye to eye on skills demand

2 Sep 2019

A new report from Hays shows that six in 10 Irish employees are covering the costs of their own upskilling and training.

A new report from professional recruitment group Hays has shown that employers in Ireland are citing a shortage in soft skills, but there is a disconnect between what is seen as a priority by employers and employees.

According to 57pc of employers surveyed, the onus is on them to provide upskilling opportunities to staff, however, 63pc of employees said they are covering the cost of training themselves.

The report surveyed 2,100 employers and employees across Ireland, finding prominent differences in their perspectives on skills demand. Just under half of employees believe an ability to learn (46pc) and an ability for problem solving (45pc) are the most sought-after soft skills, but neither are top priorities for employers.

The soft skills in highest demand, according to employers, are emotional intelligence (cited by 64pc surveyed), people management (63pc) and critical thinking (61pc).

When it comes to upskilling in order to meet demands for the future world of work, only 12pc of employees indicated that they feel fully supported in dealing with current and future change.

As digital technologies continue to change rapidly in the workplace, more than a quarter (26pc) of employees surveyed said they feel that they are being failed by their employers in preparing them for the future of work.

Maureen Lynch, director at Hays Ireland, said: “Our research shows a clear disparity between employers and employees when it comes to training and upskilling for the modern world of work. Training and upskilling employees is vital, not least for employee retention but to attract new employees and future-proof the workplace.

“Employers should avail of the resources at their disposal, such as training programmes, to assist with upskilling staff. It is essential that employees feel prepared, confident and equipped to deal with changing workplace demands and requirements from employers.

“According to our report, nearly two-thirds of employees in Ireland say they are currently enhancing their technical skills and 76pc say they are improving their soft skills.

“It is evident that employees in Ireland are taking steps to upskill themselves, and this effort must be recognised and provided by employers, especially as employers continue to invest in new technology,” she added.

Lisa Ardill
By Lisa Ardill

Lisa Ardill joined Silicon Republic as senior careers reporter in July 2019. She has a BA in neuroscience and a master’s degree in science communication. She is also a semi-published poet and a big fan of doggos. Lisa briefly served as Careers Editor at Silicon Republic before leaving the company in June 2021.

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