Ireland Acts Over high tech skills shortage

Ireland Acts Over high tech skills shortage

Posted on 03 Jul 2014 Views ( 1561 )

The Irish government has announced an initiative aimed at heading off potential skill shortages in the information technology sector.

This includes creating an additional 5,400 higher education places in the software, computer hardware, and engineering areas.

About 63 million Pounds (e95 million) will be spent on capital investment, and annual maintenance will cost up to e7, 600 for each next place.

Many of the world's leading computing firms, such as Intel and Hewlett Packard, have large plants in Ireland, which has a good record in competing with the United Kingdom and other countries for investment in high-tech areas.

From 1990 to 1997, employees in Ireland have doubled to 53,000 in the above sectors and are expected to double again by 2023.

Those who are having a degree-level qualification or technician will have high percentage of the jobs available in the market.

Since 1995, companies have become concerned about the lack of technologically skilled labor. The pressure was particularly acute in the tele-service skills, electronic technician, and computer software, areas.

An initial response was to allocate 1,800 university places to software and engineering, and in 1997, this was followed by an extra 3,200 places in teleservices staff, electronic technician, and software professional courses. In November 1997, an e317 million scientific and technological investment fund was announced followed by an e228 million research and development fund in the last year by an e228 million.

But even these measures cannot to calm down industry fears that a shortage of skilled personnel would slow down further investment.

Now the government has agreed to implement the recommendations from an expert group which has reported on future skills needs for an additional 5,400 higher education places last year.

The package is yet another political boost for education minister Michael Martin, regarded as the rising star of the Irish cabinet.

It follows a related initiative to boost the numbers of secondary school students taking science subjects through increased grants to update school laboratories and the provision of additional in-service training for teachers.