From education to employment

City and Guilds Director Warns of Skills Shortfall Unless New Methods are Found

In the wake of last week’s announcements of union dissatisfaction with the funding picture for Further Education in Ireland, a Director of City and Guilds warned today that skills shortages would not admit a “quick fix” solution through immigration.

City and Guilds are the one of the leading Awarding Bodies for Further Education qualifications, and the warning from their Director Keith Brooker will carry added weight. He said that the skills needs of Ireland could not be met by immigration alone, and said that the gaps that are being predicted by economists for the workforce in the years ahead he warned that new means of attracting workers would have to be adopted.

Net Immigration

Mr Brooker was speaking before the launch of a new DVD from City and Guilds, entitled “Help Yourself to a Brighter Future”. This DVD is designed to promote the benefits of vocational education and qualifications, and was launched at the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin Castle. The DVD comes at a time when the Teachers Union of Ireland (TUI) has spoken out against the funding picture for FE in Ireland and argued for the separation of FE into an independent sector within Education.

He said: “Our research and experience highlights a strong need for quality training, combining support for language and IT literacy skills, with a work/life balance approach to attract and retain both Irish and immigrant workers into areas facing skills shortages.”

Ireland now enjoys the position of net immigration, with some 50,100 non ““ Irish nationals arriving compared with just 18,500 Irish nationals emigrating last year. Mr Brooker’s belief in the fact that Europe alone will not meet Ireland’s immigration and skills needs for highly trained workers are further supported by a report by Forfas and the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs. The highest proportion of the immigrants in the figure mentioned above come from outside the EU.

Jethro Marsh

Can Ireland meet the skills gap internally? Tell us in the FE Blog

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