Multinationals forced to look elsewhere for critical IT skills

5 May 2011

Multinational employers, particularly medical devices, pharmaceutical and electronic design companies, are finding it hard to fill critically important positions in Ireland and are being forced to look elsewhere to secure the skills they need, according to a Shannon-based recruitment expert.

Joe Robbins, founder of CareerWise Recruitment, says the damage that “construction mania” has done to Ireland is now manifesting in the productive sector.

“In the boom years, it was more attractive to hit the building sites for easily earned money. There was a resultant lack of flow into technical disciplines and the output of university graduates with IT/science/engineering skills reduced. Now, with the boom, and a ramp up in demand, the skills are not there.

“The construction industry is not totally to blame. Companies themselves stopped recruiting for a number of years so people moved abroad or re-skilled in different disciplines. Now, the companies are hiring again, and the skills are lost.

“While we still have a skills base in Ireland, it’s mostly employed and, with the market the way it is, people are afraid to move, and enter a new company at a different end of the salary scale or for a fixed-term contract as opposed to a full-time, permanent position.”

He advises anyone with much-needed high-end technical skills or experience in the sciences, medical devices or pharmaceuticals, and particularly in FDA-based industries, to put themselves on the radar fast.

“We’re going to see requirements for IT development and project management in the IT area, quality engineering and manufacturing engineering in the pharma/medical devices, and we’re quite short on skills in electronic design and development in both hardware and software. The ramp up in technology is driving up requirements. Our clients can’t fill vacancies in electronics or design roles and that is where the demand will continue.”

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