Plan to fill 2,000 technology vacancies

Jobs aimed at foreign workers and Irish graduates with converted skills

Minister for Education and Skills Ruairi Quinn and Minister for Jobs Richard Bruton at an announcement in Dublin of a plan to provide an extra 2,000 ICT graduates.  Photograph: Bryan O'Brien/The Irish Times

Minister for Education and Skills Ruairi Quinn and Minister for Jobs Richard Bruton at an announcement in Dublin of a plan to provide an extra 2,000 ICT graduates. Photograph: Bryan O'Brien/The Irish Times

Thu, Apr 11, 2013, 06:00

Judith Crosbie

The Government hopes to provide 2,000 people with jobs in the technology sector by attracting more foreign workers to Ireland and with Irish graduates coming through specialised courses.

The plan would help plug the gap in the 3,000 vacancies in the technology sector in Ireland and go towards making Ireland the “internet capital of Europe”, said Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton, at the announcement of how the jobs would be filled.

This year 700 graduates from non-technology degrees will leave conversion courses giving them skills to work in the sector. Another 600 graduates will complete Springboard courses designed to help them learn new skills in technology, said Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn.

He said Irish graduates who had gone abroad to work should consider returning to do one of the courses.

“Come back to Ireland and do the conversion course we’ll look at getting waivers in terms of social welfare requirements and residency requirements so they can get into the system fairly quickly,” he said.

The work permit system for non-EU workers has also been changed in the hope of attracting double the number of such workers coming to Ireland. The changes will include increasing the eligible occupations for the permits, reducing the time it takes to process applications, reducing the number of documents required and improving the appeals process.

It is hoped 700 more permits would be issued in the coming year as a result of the changes, said Mr Bruton.

Foreign workers were an important part of Ireland becoming a hub for the internet industry, he said. “It’s important if we want to be the internet capital of Europe which we want to be that we are open to people coming here who can bring new talent who can start up companies. Half of the start ups in Silicon Valley are not US citizens,” Mr Bruton said.

For every high-tech job created a further four to five jobs are created elsewhere in the economy, he added.