The Irish American Partnership has sponsored the publication of a technology skills audit, produced by Fastrack into Information Technology (FIT) in Dublin. The audit identified 12,000 vacancies in technology companies operating in Ireland and several core competencies demanded, including: cloud computing, platform administration, programming, cyber security, enterprise applications, and software development. It found that the qualifications for “expert” positions in the industry had expanded significantly; technological specialization is no longer enough for a top position—today, experts must also have skills in project management, communications, and critical thinking. Thus, professional development is critical for advancement. While many positions are available in Information Communication Technology (ICT), the report also cautions against complacency. Technology will disrupt many conventional employment opportunities, necessitating major investment in programs like FIT that re-train and up-skill the un- and underemployed.
Since 2011, Ireland has seen the emergence of 34,500 jobs in the technology sector—a figure expected to grow by 30% by 2020. This staggering figure created immense need for a sustainable talent pipeline. Founded by former bricklayer Peter Davitt, who witnessed first-hand the decline of tradition blue collar employment and subsequent emergence of the information and communications technology sector, FIT has been one of Ireland’s most innovative job retraining programs. Its core mission is to promote an inclusive “Smart Economy” for people at risk in Ireland’s labor market. It has pioneered its own methodology for working with employers to understand their skills requirements through granular analysis of the skills, knowledge, and competencies required. Their educational programs have benefited tens of thousands of individuals and hundreds of tech companies—which need skilled labor to support their European headquarters in Ireland. To date, over 18,000 job seekers have completed FIT skills development programs of which in excess of 13,500 progressed into employment. 4,000 job seekers are currently participating in FIT programs.
The Partnership has supported FIT since its inception in 1999 and is thrilled to sponsor this important audit, which will drive the Irish economy into the future in a strategic and sustainable manner.