A digital skills gap amongst the Irish population is halting employment progress, a new report from the European Commission (EC) suggests.
Considering how often we hear that Ireland has a highly educated workforce, producing top talent from colleges every year, that doesn’t appear to be the case.
Indeed the EC’s assertion that a digital skills gap exists is reflected in the large numbers of foreign workers recruited into Ireland every year by the burgeoning tech industry.
However this report, which claims that 42pc of the Irish workforce has little or no digital skills, is still quite revealing.
The labour shortage in ICT has made plenty of headlines, however, the EC claims that last year more than half of the companies in Ireland had difficulty in hiring people in this industry, one of the highest rates in Europe.
Highlighting the current Government’s Action Plan for Jobs as a remedying attempt, Ireland is in fact turning this around.
The labour market will continue to face adjustment needs for years to come, even though employment growth has been sustained lately.
We’ve heard strands of this before from various parts of Ireland’s tech scene. For example, last year a report from the Microelectronics Industry Design Association, showed that 90pc of companies invested in research projects in new areas during the past year.
Three-quarters of microelectronics employers in Ireland would expand their workforce if the highly skilled engineers required were available.
Elsewhere we have seen companies crying out for relevant programmers, digital architects and data professionals.
“Tackling skills mismatches fully would avoid higher structural unemployment, contribute to the sustainability of Ireland’s growth model and improve social indicators,” reads the report.
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