Thursday 27 April 2017

Extra 250,000 jobs to boost 'white collar' force by 2015

John Walshe and Ailish O'Hora

HALF of all employees will be 'white collar' workers in five years' time, says an influential report which predicts that an extra 250,000 jobs will be created between now and 2015.

It says that there will be far fewer working in agriculture or traditional manufacturing in the future.

Hi-tech areas will provide many of the new jobs, according to the FAS/ESRI Occupational Employment Forecast report which expects job growth to pick up next year.

It says there will be 1.95 million people at work in 2015, still below the record 2.3 million employed two years ago.

The report details the sectors where growth or decline is expected. The occupations expected to exceed pre-recession peak levels are concentrated at the higher end of the skill scale. They include professionals and associate professionals (technicians) in the areas of science, engineering, business services and IT.

Occupations which, while growing after 2010, are not anticipated to recover to 2008 levels include skilled building workers, production operatives, unskilled manual workers, sales assistants and clerks.

Combined managers/proprietors, professionals and associate professionals are expected to account for 38pc of the total employment in 2015, compared with 34pc in 2008. When these groups are combined with clerical workers, the forecasts suggest that in 2015, half of all workers will be in 'white collar' employment. In agriculture, the report expects employment to continue to decline from 170,000 in 1990 to 87,000 in five years' time. Traditional manufacturing is also on the way down from 162,000 in 1998 to 100,000 by 2015.

The educational profile of the workforce is also changing. In 1999, a quarter of those in the workforce held a higher qualification, which increased to well over a third by 2008.

This trend is expected to continue with more than 45pc of those working expected to be graduates by 2015.

IDA Ireland has set itself a target of creating 62,000 of the projected new jobs directly and 102,000 indirectly between now and 2014.

Blackspots

The development body aims to lure hundreds of overseas firms to Ireland over the next four years, with regional employment blackspots to benefit as more than half of the companies would be based outside Dublin and Cork.

Speaking yesterday at the launch of a new IDA strategy, Tanaiste Mary Coughlan vowed to deliver on job creation plans.

Ms Coughlan insisted the IDA's employment goal was deliverable. "My expectation is that we will achieve the jobs which have been set down."

Barry O'Leary, chief executive of the IDA, said the focus would be on high-end positions in areas like green energy, services and high-end manufacturing. He also said the IDA was working with some of the multinationals operating in Ireland like Google and Facebook to market 'Ireland Inc' abroad.

Irish Independent

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