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Expert Group report shows further improvements in the Irish labour market and an intensifying of skills shortages in certain areas

Today, the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs (EGFSN) published the National Skills Bulletin 2015, which provides an overview of employment trends at occupational level.

Welcoming the publication, Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation, Damien English, T.D. said: “The Irish labour market is recovering, with most indicators improving during 2014. The report shows an increase in employment and a decrease in the number of unemployed, long-term unemployed and underemployed persons. I am delighted to see that more jobs are being in created and in particular that construction jobs are finally increasing, this is great news for job seekers. I am delighted in particular in the growth in opportunities for skilled tradespeople. My job, as a Minister is to bring together industry and education in key areas to ensure that we equip people with the practical skills to match industry’s current and future needs in order to create sustainable jobs. As part of that effort I would urge young people to look seriously at an apprenticeship as a way of learning key skills and building their careers. We intend to develop a range of new apprenticeships with employers to provide increased opportunities for our young people”.

The analysis presented in the report indicates the flexibility of the Irish labour market; however it points to high turnover in relation to certain occupations, including care workers, sales workers, general clerks, elementary occupations (e.g. waiters, cleaners, catering assistants, security workers), as well as some highly skilled occupations (e.g. IT professionals).

Commenting, Una Halligan, Chairperson of the EGFSN said: “The report shows that, with the economic recovery strengthening, shortages are intensifying in the previously identified areas such as ICT, engineering, sales/customer care, logistic, health, business and finance, and emerging in new areas such as hospitality and construction. With improved job prospects across all sectors of the economy, issues with attracting and retaining staff are emerging in some areas (e.g. hospitality, care and meat processing)”.

Commenting further, Una Halligan added: “Looking forward, we need to continue efforts across all relevant policy areas to ensure shortages outlined in the report, which have been intensifying in some areas, such as ICT, and emerging in other areas, such as hospitality, are addressed adequately.”

The full report, National Skills Bulletin 2015, is available here.