Sunday 24 September 2017

Firms look abroad as graduates here lack key skills

Barry O’Leary: IDA chief
Barry O’Leary: IDA chief
Mark O'Regan

Mark O'Regan

HIGHLY qualified Irish graduates are failing to crack the jobs market -- all because they lack specialist skills.

The warning comes as Japanese technology company Fujitsu, which employs 350 people here, confirmed it would have to recruit abroad for many of the PhD level experts it needed for its Irish operations.

The company's head of research, Anthony McCauley, warned there was a skills shortage in certain technical areas. "A lot of the graduates we've found are from Egypt, Syria, France and Germany,'' he told the Sunday Independent.

He said one area where graduates were lacking particular skills was in the area of data analytics -- with not enough third-level courses in Ireland specialising in this topic.

The company's head of human resources in Ireland, Bernard Delany, said Irish graduates today faced stiffer competition from overseas applicants than ever before.

He said: "A degree provides a basis -- but Irish graduates definitely need to zone in on upskilling. The situation can be particularly competitive regarding technological skills. Overall the calibre of graduates we have in Ireland is excellent -- but we could do with more of them in certain areas.''

IDA Ireland CEO Barry O'Leary said the reality was that 15 per cent of the Irish population was non-Irish so this had to be reflected in the jobs market. "The areas of growth are in IT, digital media, medical devices, bio-sciences and languages,'' he told the Sunday Independent.

Mr O'Leary urged students to choose college courses on bio-sciences, technology and financial services, where there were greater job openings.

Irish Independent

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