A gap between the skills needs of industry and what Ireland’s third-level sector is actually providing is to be discussed at an Oireachtas Committee meeting that will be attended today by both Jobs Minister Richard Bruton, TD, and Education Minister Ruairi Quinn, TD. They will also tackle the lack of ICT and language skills being taught at second level.
This afternoon both ministers will attend the meeting of the Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.
A review of ICT skills demand will be made before the ministers.
It is understood concerns by indigenous and multinational firms about a mismatch between what industry wants and what the education system is producing is contributing to a major skills shortage.
A problem that cannot be neglected any longer
Some 5,000 jobs have been created in the ICT sector so far this year and the industry claims it is struggling to fill some 2,000 vacancies.
The chairman of the Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Damien English, TD, said: “As part of our ongoing hearings into the skills mismatch between industry requirements and the courses provided by the third-level sector, we will be particularly interested in getting the perspectives of the two ministers for primary responsibility in this area.”
“The committee’s report, A Review of Information Communication Technology (ICT) Demand in Ireland, also found that there is a significant gap between the ICT skills which are taught in our schools and those that are required to take up job opportunities in the technology sector. It is a serious problem which we must address on a cross-departmental basis if we are to develop a knowledge economy.
“We also continue to lag behind many of our European counterparts in relation to foreign-language skills. Foreign-language skills, particularly knowledge of languages in emerging economies, are also key to driving our export and international trade and should be promoted at all levels of our education sector,” English said.