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Reaction to Louise Phelan's claim that young recruits have no interest in learning new skills

The Irish head of PayPal, Louise Phelan, has claimed that young recruits have no interest in learning new skills.

- "Personally speaking, our experience at Hillwalk Tours has been different to that of Ms Phelan's.

"We have hired a number of recent graduates in the past year and I have been really impressed with how they have knuckled down and got stuck in to selling our walking tours in Ireland and Scotland. There is a fine line between a sense of entitlement and a sense of ambition, but the graduates we have hired seem to understand that career progression will only come about through hard work and producing results.

"Most people understand that the country is in a difficult spot right now. For graduates, this means that getting a good job is more difficult than it has been for quite some time as the competition is fiercer than it ever was.

"This is actually quite a good situation for employers to be in as they get to pick from the cream of the crop."

James Byrne, managing director, www.hillwalktours.com

- "People who have graduated from university in the past few years have really had to think outside the box to gain employment and, as a result, I feel they thoroughly appreciate any opportunity given to them.

"I am surprised to hear that many young people carry a sense of entitlement; maybe these are the exception but not the norm.

"I graduated in 2009 from UCD as an architect and it was very demoralising to come out of university after six years to no jobs. This led me to start my own business in a completely different field, the creation and design of hats and headpieces, millinery. It was a hunger for success that drove me to start this business and in the past three years it has gone from strength to strength.

"In February, I opened a design boutique in Adare, Co Limerick, where my pieces are available and I conduct design consultations with bespoke customers.

"I also stock pieces by other Irish designers, including clothing, jewellery and accessories. I am trying to create a boutique celebrating Irish design and creations.

"I have a staff member and am looking for additional staff to facilitate the growth of the business.

"Many of those that I have met are worried about their futures and as a result are eager and excited at any prospect of employment, in particular in an area that challenges them and in which they can learn."

Aisling Maher of Aisling Maher Designs

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