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Sunday 18 February 2018

Employers 'unable to fill thousands of niche jobs'

Katherine Donnelly Education Editor

EMPLOYERS face ongoing problems filling thousands of jobs, despite massive unemployment, a new state report reveals.

Doctors, specialist nurses, scientists, engineers, lab technicians, specialised sales staff and software developers are among the staff difficult to find.

Shortages of suitably qualified personnel across a wide range of sectors are reported in the National Skills Bulletin 2013, which provides an annual overview of the labour market. It points, in particular, to a lack of technology and multilingual skills.

The areas worst affected are information and communications technology (ICT), hi-tech manufacturing – particularly biopharmaceutical and medical devices – agri-food, financial services and healthcare.

The analysis is carried out by the state training authority, FAS, for the Expert Group of Future Skills Needs (EGFSN), which advises the Government on supply and demand of skills and anticipates mismatches.

EGFSN chairwoman Una Halligan said that while shortages were confined to niche skill areas, and in most instances were of low magnitude, they were persistent in certain sectors.

The shortages mean that employers are continuing to source skilled staff from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) with the 3,000 new employment permits issued in 2012 down 10pc on 2011.

Irish Independent

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