Skills deficit despite 39pc IT job growth in Ireland

9 Feb 2011

For a country reeling from substantial unemployment, Ireland managed to suffer an acute skills shortage in terms of IT workers in the past few months, with more IT jobs being available than the candidates to fill them.

The latest Morgan McKinley Irish Employment Monitor shows that new job opportunities for professionals in Ireland increased by 39pc from 5,227 in December 2010 to 7,250 in January 2011. This also represented a 37pc increase from the January 2010 figure of 5,283.

The number of professionals seeking new employment opportunities in January 2011 increased by 23pc from December 2010, rising from 5,365 to 6,595. This is however a 48pc decrease year-on-year from January 2010 levels which saw 12,655 professionals entering the jobs market.

“January 2011 saw a significant increase in new professional job opportunities coming onto the market compared to the previous month and compared to same time last year,” said Karen O’Flaherty, chief operations officer, Premier Group Ireland.

“It is worth noting that this rebound, although positive, was from a particularly low December 2010 volume caused by disruptive weather events, the Government’s EU/IMF bailout announcement in late November 2010 and other seasonal factors.

“Economic indicators and anecdotal evidence from employers do however point towards a more positive start to the year for the professional jobs market. Job creation is firmly on the agenda in the lead up to the General Election and the feeling is that there is greater visibility with regard to potential hiring plans across H1 2011 in certain pockets of the professional jobs market than there was at the start of 2010.”

O’Flaherty continued: “Recently, requirements for corporate restructuring – particularly within larger multinational corporations – have resulted in recruitment growth in several niche areas. For example, demand for professionals with experience in IT development and R&D is extremely high and for the first time in several years we are seeing acute skills deficits in this area.”

Hiring gains momentum in professional and financial services

O’Flaherty said certain areas of the financial services sector are also gaining momentum with regard to hiring.

“Demand for multilingual professionals and commercial accountants is on an upward curve and although multinational corporations continue to offer the highest volume of positions, it is encouraging to see several indigenous companies increase, or plan to increase their headcounts. This is hopefully the start of an anticipated revival in this sector.

“Despite increasing by 23pc from December 2010 to January 2011, the number of new professional job seekers fell by 48pc year-on-year.

“Mobility in the market has fallen as more professionals prioritise job security over new career opportunities and as talent flowing in from other European companies has slowed.

“As Ireland’s economy starts to recover, hopefully, so, too, will its reputation as an attractive, international jobs market, in particular for a large pool of multilingual professionals,” O’Flaherty said.

John Kennedy
By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years. His interests include all things technological, music, movies, reading, history, gaming and losing the occasional game of poker.

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