A figure of a person is standing and looking down at a gap in a broken bridge against a blue sky, symbolising a skills gap.
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Survey: More than half of Irish companies are facing a skills gap

8 Apr 2021

According to Dublin Chamber’s latest quarterly survey, 40pc of 300 companies believe their staff need to be upskilled.

Many things have come to light for business leaders over the past year, including how amenable their teams are to change and the extent to which their employees can engage with online tools. But one issue that has arisen for many companies, according to a new survey from Dublin Chamber, is a skills gap.

Dublin Chamber’s latest quarterly business outlook survey involved 300 companies and took place during the first quarter of 2021. More than half of the companies surveyed (52pc) said they have a skills gap, 40pc said their staff are in need of upskilling and 26pc said the pandemic had brought these needs to light.

Almost one-third of companies said they had struggled to fill a particular skills gap in the past 12 months. A smaller cohort (12pc) said they had faced difficulties trying to fill gaps with internal resources and 8pc said that they have no time or resources to even try to address them.

Aebhric Mc Gibney, Dublin Chamber’s director of public and international affairs, said the findings highlight the massive impacts the pandemic has had on businesses and how they function.

“Covid-19 has rapidly changed the way we work and the logistics of remote working mean that new skills are required in everything from HR to marketing,” Mc Gibney said. “The accelerated digitisation of the economy has changed work processes, practices and priorities, leading companies to recognise skills gaps and the need to upskill staff.

“That the majority of companies have identified a skills gap showcases the pace of change. Mechanisms that reflect the pace of change in the digitising economy need to be in place to aid businesses in finding the pathways to appropriately upskill and reskill their staff, particularly for sectors that have been significantly impacted by the current crisis.”

Dublin Chamber’s survey also asked companies about their sustainability plans. It found that 87pc of companies surveyed had made changes to become more sustainable and 47pc had made those changes in the past year.

While 28pc said they expect their company’s profits to decrease in the next three months, 30pc expect their staff numbers to increase and 55pc think their headcount will stay the same.

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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