Tuesday 19 March 2019

Ministers aim to deliver 47,000 graduates with high level ICT skills by 2022

The ambitious targets in the plan will increase the total number of graduates with high-level ICT skills by more than 5,000 every year by 2022.

Minister for Education in the Republic of Ireland Joe McHugh speaking at ‘Beyond Brexit – The Future of Ireland’ an event focusing on nationalism’s response to Brexit at the Waterfront Hall in Belfast.
Minister for Education in the Republic of Ireland Joe McHugh speaking at ‘Beyond Brexit – The Future of Ireland’ an event focusing on nationalism’s response to Brexit at the Waterfront Hall in Belfast.

By Rebecca Black, Press Association

Government ministers have announced a plan to deliver more than 47,000 graduates with high level ICT skills by 2022.

Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys announced the target on Monday as they launched Technology Skills 2022: Ireland’s Third ICT Skills Action Plan.

The plan sets out priority actions to meet Ireland’s need for graduates skilled in computing and electronic and electrical engineering to support and drive economic performance over the coming years.

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An ambitious government plan aims to grow the number of highly skilled ICT graduates in Ireland (PA Archive)

It is based on research conducted by the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs (EGFSN).

Measures to achieve the target includes expanding the number of graduates from mainstream computing and electrical and electronic engineering courses in higher education from 4,220 to 4,830 by 2022.

Other measures include expanding the numbers of relevant Skillnet Ireland programmes which are aligned with the NFQ by more than 1,000 by 2022 and providing new options to embed high-level ICT apprenticeships within the education and training sector to attract more than 1,000 new entrants per year by 2020.

There will also be a high-level ICT reskilling pathway to provide opportunities for up to 2,750 people from diverse backgrounds between 2019-2022.

Programmes will target areas of high demand and high potential growth, including Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Animation, Gaming, Blockchain, Internet of Things, 3D Printing, Augmented and Virtual Reality, and Cybersecurity/Next Generation Security.

Our ability to produce, attract and retain graduates with high-level ICT skills is vital to our future economic performance Education Minister Joe McHugh

Launching the action plan at Pramerica in Letterkenny, Co Donegal, Mr McHugh said high level graduates are vital to Ireland’s future economic performance.

“Our ability to produce, attract and retain graduates with high-level ICT skills is vital to our future economic performance,” he said.

“Technology Skills 2022 sets out a programme for co-operation between the education and training sector and industry which will ensure that we have the skillsets in place to drive development both within the technology sector and, given the fundamental nature of technology, across the wider economy.

“The education and training sector has responded strongly to demand for high-level ICT skills, with a 70% increase in the numbers of graduates with degree level qualifications over the past six years.

“This plan will support targeted funding to help the sector, one again, deliver on Ireland’s skills needs – with a target of up to 12,500 graduates per annum by 2022.”

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Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys said growing the number of ICT graduates is important for Ireland’s future (PA)

Ms Humphreys added: “This plan, which is an excellent example of collaboration between Government and industry, will be crucial to maintaining and advancing the competitiveness and confidence in Irish-based enterprise both domestically and in global markets in the years ahead.”

Press Association

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