Languages, via Shutterstock

Irish graduates lack language skills – survey

13 May 2015

A survey of 1,400 employers in Ireland found a pretty high level of satisfaction with current graduate recruits, however, a lack of language skills – and entrepreneurial talents, strangely – may hold us back in the future.

With more than one third of respondents to the National Employer Survey citing languages as an issue, and the same number seeking to fill multilingual roles, the problem can’t be painted any clearer.

From our work within the tech jobs industry, too, we have seen an explosion of multilingual roles across the country. This is down to a number of reasons, including the high proportion of EMEA offices – primarily in Dublin – and sales offices in the country.

So getting kids to learn a second language could be crucial to helping Irish graduates better fill the evident gaps in the labour pool.

Foreign companies are actually happier with our graduates across many of the skills queried. For example, 92pc of foreign businesses were happy with IT skills, in comparison to 82pc of indigenous ones.

In terms of recruitment, engineering was the most represented category of graduates recruited by foreign companies (63pc employed an engineering graduate).

The lowest ranking metric was entrepreneurial skills (57pc and 43pc respectively), and foreign language capability (35pc and 42pc respectively).

“It is worrying that 40 per cent of respondents indicated a shortage of skills that will be needed within the next five years, including engineering, languages, ICT and specific quantitative skills,” said Ibec’s Tony Donohoe.

“There also appears to be lower levels of satisfaction amongst indigenous companies, a business sector which Ireland increasingly depends on for employment growth.”

Languages image, via Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt
By Gordon Hunt

Gordon Hunt joined Silicon Republic in October 2014 as a journalist. He spends most of his time avoiding conversations about music, appreciating even the least creative pun and rueing the day he panicked when meeting Paul McGrath. His favourite thing on the internet is the ‘Random Article’ link on Wikipedia.

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