Expert Group highlights job market opportunities

28 Feb 2012

The Irish job market has a demand for people with work experience, third-level qualifications and/or foreign-language skills, the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs reveals in its second Vacancy Overview report.

The report, which outlines the areas where job vacancies arose during 2011, also highlights vacancies in occupations that are proving difficult to fill with suitably qualified and/or experienced staff, which includes ICT professionals, financial experts, engineering experts and healthcare professionals.  

Key Vacancy Overview report findings:

While at a lower level than in 2007, the overall number of newly advertised vacancies was higher than in 2010.

The number of vacancies was most frequent for the following areas:

  • Sales, marketing and customer service (eg, retail sales, multilingual telesales, multilingual customer service, and sales accounts and business development managers)
  • ICT (eg, programmers/software developers, web designers, IT operations/user support technicians)
  • Science and engineering (design and development engineers, process engineers, engineering and laboratory technicians)
  • Accountancy and financial services/insurance (eg, accountants, regulatory professionals, administration roles)
  • Production, manufacturing and materials (eg, quality control, production managers, admin roles)

The report outlined that, compared with 2010, there was an increase in the overall number of jobs advertised in 2011, with tentative signs of recovery in the number of jobs advertised for managerial, professional and associate professional occupations. 

The most-advertised positions were in sales and ICT, and third-level qualifications were a prerequisite. Foreign languages, particularly German and Nordic languages, continued to be in demand. 

The report also highlights the importance of ongoing training in the workplace to develop specialised skills sets, particularly in the area of IT.

“This report gives those who are looking at education and training options or making career choices a view of what employers are looking for,” said Ciarán Cannon, TD, Minister for Training and Skills.

“It also provides insights for career guidance professionals, education and training providers and policy makers and facilitates providers in tailoring training and education to the needs of enterprise. With the magnitude of the problem of unemployment in Ireland, we must ensure that every opportunity is taken to align skills with labour market needs.”

Una Halligan, chairman, Expert Group on Future Skills Needs, said the Vacancy Overview 2011 report again confirms that high-level ICT skills are in significant demand. 

“I would like to encourage people to avail of the opportunities for upskilling and skills conversion that are available,” Halligan said. 

“The ICT Action Plan: Meeting the high-level skills needs of enterprise in Ireland recently announced by Government provides for a doubling of third-level education places to 2018, Springboard provides of education and training places in 2012 at third-level for job seekers and more immediately there are upskilling and reskilling opportunities for job seekers through the ICT skills conversion programme.” is hosting Skills February, a month dedicated to news, reports, interviews and videos covering a range of topics on the digital skills debate.

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