‘Monitoring Ireland’s Skills Supply 2015’ is the tenth in a series of reports produced by SOLAS on behalf of the Expert Group for Future Skills Needs (EGFSN). The purpose of the report is to provide an overview of the skills profile of the population.
The main findings of the report point to the fact that there are over one million qualification holders, or a third of the population, who have studied in one of the following areas:
- (SSBL) Social science, business & law (including commerce)
- Business management
Further to this, another 320,000 persons have post-secondary qualifications, with engineering/construction, such as craft awards, accounting for a third.
Areas of opportunity
Science: Highly-skilled professionals such as actuaries, statisticians and teachers are particularly in demand in this field.
Engineering and construction: The difference between those with post-secondary qualifications and those with third level qualifications is much smaller in these areas, with the report revealing employment rates almost as high for those with qualifications such as apprenticeships, as for graduates.
SSBL: The career paths in this sector, according to report are very much determined by the level to which the candidate has studied. However, there are many business related occupations which have been identified as experiencing shortages and growth prospects are positive for the financial and professional services sectors.
Health/welfare: There are high levels of employment for graduates with the right qualifications in this field. Employment opportunities in the health sector are mostly in government funded organisations; although there have been limited opportunities in recent years due to restricted healthcare budgets, demand for these skills are expected to be sustained and most likely to increase.
Education: Third level graduates are very much in demand for certain posts in this area and there is a higher than average proportion of recent university graduates employed overseas in the education sector. However at home, employment opportunities depend very much on government policy and funding according to the report. Demand for educational professionals is also affected by the size of the school going age population; “these factors will impact on the demand for teachers in the coming years,” says the report.
Arts/humanities: Graduates in these fields are most likely to continue their studies, specialising in a particular area, according to the report. The report also says that arts/humanities graduates may be more flexible in meeting labour market needs “but they may also be susceptible to having to accept lower skilled employment as many arts/humanities courses do not have a vocational element.”
Services: Tourism and hospitality is a sector highlighted by the report as one which presents significant opportunities to graduates. The report adds that while graduates in this area do find employment opportunities, it is a sector particularly affected by the economic climate.
The report comes only a short time after its companion research, the National Skills Bulletin, was released. Read our article on the Bulletin here. For more on sector based advice from graduates, visit our sector hubs.