The number of qualifications attained in Ireland has increased but the skills gap remains in some sectors, according to two new reports by the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs (EGFSN).
Figures in the National Skills Bulletin 2013 and another report (Monitoring Ireland’s Skills Supply: Trends in Education and Training Outputs 2013) show 217,000 education and training qualifications were awarded during the 2011-2012 academic year, an increase of 6,000 on the previous year.
There was a 25 per cent increase in the number of computing graduates with level-8 (honours degree or higher diploma).
Strong growth in CAO acceptances and enrolments for computing courses also suggests this trend will continue in the medium term, according to the reports.
However, in spite of the report’s findings that ICT was the strongest segment of the Irish labour market, skills shortages in this area remain.
Chairperson of the EGFSN Una Halligan said shortages are primarily confined to niche skill areas. "This year's bulletin highlights the persistence of skills shortages in the areas of ICT, high-tech manufacturing, agri-food, sales, marketing, business, finance and healthcare.
“Multilingual skills are a key aspect of some of these shortages,” she said. “Shortages of multilingual IT technicians ... financial administrators and some supply chain related occupations exist”.