Thursday 21 September 2017

Shortage of quality graduates costs Ireland 200 top IT jobs

John Walshe Education Editor

A SHORTAGE of quality IT computer graduates has cost Ireland almost 200 hi-tech jobs which will now go to Romania instead, the Irish Independent has learned.

Intel Ireland was on the short list for the jobs, but was beaten by Romania, which offered a better supply of suitable graduates and what is believed to be a slightly more attractive financial package of tax and other breaks.

Last month Romania, which has been actively targeting the IT sector for jobs, announced a multi-million euro investment in a new Intel Software Development Centre.

It will focus on the best use of devices such as smartphones, smart TVs and in-vehicle infotainment systems.

Securing the go-ahead for the new centre would have been a significant boost for research in Intel Ireland which employs about 5,000 people, mostly in manufacturing.

A small but growing minority is employed in research, especially at TCD and UCC.

Sources said Ireland lost the jobs because it could not guarantee the supply of suitably qualified graduates with the relevant skills.

The disclosure that Intel Ireland failed to get the jobs caused alarm last night.

Both the employers' body IBEC and the Irish Academy of Engineering said it was a "wake-up call" and claimed that there were other cases of jobs being lost because of a shortage of high quality graduates.

An recent IBEC survey of 340 companies showed 85 (25pc) had difficulties recruiting suitable graduates.

Almost two-thirds of those who expressed dissatisfaction with quality had highlighted engineering-related disciplines.

The engineering academy said the Government must immediately tackle the low math standards in our schools.

It also revealed it was aware of an indigenous engineering company which was forced to recruit its last eight engineers from overseas.

Boost

The academy has just published a report on how engineering can boost economic recovery.

Spokesperson Don Moore said Ireland could not compete with cheap manufacturing locations elsewhere but needed to continue to produce high quality people.

Irish Independent

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