Vacancies in the Tech Sector – Closing the Gap

Posted March 18th, 2014

In 2011, only 45% of the demand for ICT skills was being met domestically from our higher education programmes. This year the education system is expected to meet 60% of the demand for ICT skills. 

The skills gap in the tech sector is an issue I’ve been highlighting since I was first elected as a TD and in 2012 the government put in place a number of initiatives to help fill this gap as part of their first ICT Action Plan (including changes to the employment permits system, conversion programmes for graduates seeking to acquire programming skills and awareness building about opportunities in the ICT sector).

Last week the government published an ICT Skills Action Plan to take us up to 2018, when it is aimed to meet 74% of industry demands for ICT professionals domestically. You can read the full ICT Skills Plan 2014-2018 here.

There will also be a total of up to 2,000 work permits issued per year to ICT professionals with relevant skills in order to meet industry demands and there will be an increased focus on recent Irish emigrants and EEA nationals.

I previously raised the possibility of introducing a technology visa scheme: a specific visa for people working in the tech sector given the skills shortage in the country and the potential for spin off jobs from this growing industry. A specific technology visa has yet to be introduced but the Department of Justice and the Department of Jobs are going to investigate the potential for introducing a unified employment permit and visa applications system under the Action Plan for Jobs 2014. You can read the full 2014 Action Plan here and view the accompanying Table of Actions here.