• » 44,500 new job openings for people with high-level ICT skills over the next six years - according to new Forfás and Expert Group report

    The EGFSN and Forfás today published Addressing Future Demand for High-Level ICT Skills, a deliverable under the Action Plan for Jobs 2013. The report finds that the continuing strong demand from employers for people with high-level ICT skills across the economy could lead to 44,500 new job openings arising from expansion and replacement demand over the next six years. Job openings will be for both new graduates and skilled professionals.

    The report forecasts the demand for high-level ICT skills up to 2018 within the ICT sector and across other sectors of the economy. Its publication comes against a background of strong competition for high-level ICT skills globally. It makes recommendations to ensure that Ireland maintains a strong competitive advantage when it comes to attracting mobile ICT investment and encouraging entrepreneurs to set up, grow and locate their ICT businesses in Ireland. Ensuring an adequate supply of creative and innovative ICT talent from both the domestic and international talent pool is key to that effort.

    In 2012, there were 68,280 ICT professionals working within the ICT sector and across other sectors of the economy. The report forecasts that there will be increased demand of on average 5% per annum for these high-level ICT skills up to 2018, increasing the employment of ICT professionals to 91,000.

    To achieve the jobs potential, the report notes that all potential policy levers will need to continue to be utilised to increase high-level ICT skills supply. These include mainstream education and training, conversion and reskilling programmes, continuing professional development and attracting experienced international talent, including expatriate talent. The report highlights the key demand for high-level ICT professionals and notes that the level and quality of domestic ICT graduates is a critical component in the supply of skills and over time adding to the stock of experienced professionals.

    Addressing Future Demand for High-Level ICT Skills recommends that additional iterations of the conversion programmes from 2014 and beyond will be essential to contribute to meeting the increasing demand. In just over one year an investment of €10m by the Department of Education and Skills has delivered over 1,500 places on industry designed ICT conversion programmes.  These programmes provide graduates from other disciplines the opportunity to pursue new careers in ICT and industry access to a new pool of talented graduates with up to date ICT qualifications.