Technology skills are in short supply in the Republic of Ireland as a growing number of IT companies set up bases in the country attracted by the government's large tax breaks, new research has revealed.
The Expert Group on Future Skills Needs (EGFSN) published its annual review of employment trends in Ireland on Wednesday.
It showed that, despite rising unemployment and diminished job opportunities in most segments of the Irish labour market, skills shortages continue to exist in IT, healthcare and engineering.
"It is critical that we maintain our focus on ensuring that our labour force is equipped with the skills for current and future jobs," said Ireland's minister for training and skills, Ciarán Cannon.
Meanwhile, EGFSN chairwoman Una Halligan said that education and training providers need to continuously align their programmes with the future skills needs of the enterprise.
Halligan added that Ireland needs more initiatives like 'Springboard', which provides opportunities for people who are currently unemployed to gain skills in areas such as IT where there are current or future job opportunities.
The EGFSN said that the IT professionals in greatest demand are senior software developers, network engineers and project managers.
Many IT workers continue to be sourced from abroad, although the number of new employment permits issued to those not from the European Economic Area has been declining since 2007, the report found.
The skills shortage is a problem for the growing number of IT companies setting up bases in cities such as Cork and Dublin.
Google recently admitted to difficulties in finding graduates with enough maths and science skills to work at its European headquarters in Dublin.
The problem was raised by Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt at a meeting with the Irish cabinet last week, at which he reportedly said that Ireland needs to ease visa restrictions to allow more foreigners to take up positions at the firm.
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