Ireland needs to change the model that transitions graduates into the skilled workplace, Richard Eardley, Hays Ireland’s managing director, said in his keynote speech at the Future Jobs Forum in the Convention Centre Dublin today.
In a recent report by Hays, there was one particular figure that has proven to be alarming for Ireland’s potential to a hub for ICT investment and employment. According to the report, Ireland has a ‘talent mismatch’ in technology, ranking the worst possible score out of 10 in terms of its long-term unemployment because of a lack of skilled talent needed to fill available jobs.
Joining Ireland in this category is Spain, Portugal and the United States.
One potential solution is to look at some of Ireland’s European neighbours, such as Germany, which has already established a system whereby graduates take part in apprenticeships with businesses.
According to Eardley, German graduates spend 50-70pc of their time in workplace training, making it easier for them to go straight into full-time roles.
Eardley stressed the importance of sourcing the best talent abroad if Ireland cannot find the Irish candidates to fill these skills gaps, particularly in the short-term.
“If we haven’t got the talent in Ireland, then we need to bring that talent in. To do this, we need to do two things well: sell Ireland as a destination of choice for world talent, and to make it easy for them to get there.”
Getting the right structures in place
In terms of attracting this talent, Eardley believes that the model the Government has in place with allowing non-EU members to work here under the work permit system, needs to be significantly improved by following other successful international models.
“To get a work permit in Ireland, an applicant needs to apply under the pretense of employment but not as an individual,” said Eardley.
“If we look at some of the best practices globally, the Australian and New Zealand model is different, where they have a skills occupational list that lets you can gain entry to the country. We need to be doing as well as them in making them accessible to people around the world.”
Eardley highlighted one particular issue that is largely unsaid in recruitment; that of an inherent age bias that sees those in recruitment filter out those who are not in the ‘Goldilocks’ age range of 25-35. In his view, along with this being one of the major issues in Ireland, it can be seen as on a par with discrimination levels in terms of gender, race and religion.
Watch highlights of Richard Eardley’s keynote speech at the Future Jobs Forum 2014 here:
Part 1 of 2:
Part 2 of 2: