Too few students are doing languages, say firms
Employers are worried about the numbers of students doing foreign languages for the Leaving Certificate.
Many multinational and domestic companies have jobs they cannot fill because of a lack of candidates with the necessary language skills.
Fewer than half - 49pc - of this year's candidates took French, while those taking German stood at just 13.2pc.
Meanwhile, only about 10pc of candidates sat Spanish, one of the most widely spoken languages in the world.
Ibec's head of education policy, Tony Donohoe, said that student interest in languages had declined when compared with a decade ago. He warned that it was "vital that we don't find ourselves at a competitive disadvantage when it comes to selling into global markets and attracting foreign investment".
However, the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals (NAPD) noted the modest increase in the number of students studying French, German and Spanish at higher level. NAPD director Clive Byrne also welcomed the rise in students taking higher-level Irish - up 7pc on last year, and 16.5pc on 2013.