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Growth in Construction and IT Jobs Market, says Expert Group on Future Skills Needs

A continued recovery in the construction sector in 2014 was evident with a jump in the number of vacancies notified through Jobs Ireland, the government’s jobs portal, according to a report published today by the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs. Growth was particularly evident for electricians, plumbers and carpenters after years of low activity. This increase was in line with an overall growth of 8% in the number of vacancies being notified to Jobs Ireland and 12% to IrishJobs.ie in 2014. For some jobs, such as care workers and sales assistants/reps, vacancies are occurring regularly as employers struggle to retain staff, whether due to low pay, poor working conditions, rural locations or other factors. For the construction sector, however, employment figures produced by the CSO, show above average growth occurring for the skilled trades, which is being reflected in today’s publication.

Demand for people with IT skills is continuing unabated, with an increasing number of employment permits being issued each year to alleviate the shortfall experienced by employers in recruiting experienced and qualified IT staff. This is also reflected in the rise in the number of vacancies occurring in this field and the continued difficulty experienced by recruitment agencies to fill some of these positions (such as designers and developers).

Commenting on the report released today, Damien English TD, Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation said “the trends shown in today’s report strongly mirror the economic recovery that we are experiencing. It is essential that we continue to monitor where vacancies are arising, so that these valuable insights can inform jobseekers, our guidance and education and training sectors on where the jobs of today and the future arise. The demand for IT skills is something I note in particular. I am keen to see all levels of our education system respond proactively to address this evident skills need”.

Una Halligan, Chairperson, Expert Group on Future Skills Needs said that “language skills continue to be in demand, particularly German, especially for jobs associated with sales and customer service. Sales jobs were also the least likely to require a minimum level of education or experience whereas experience was key for a high share of managerial roles and a third level degree was often required for professional roles (such as IT programmers, accountants, business analysts)”.

The full report, Vacancy Overview 2014, is available here