A number of Irish software companies will be promoted in the US today as part of an initiative by Microsoft and Oracle channel partners to boost awareness of the country's technology industry.
Some 13 Irish software companies will participate at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference in Los Angeles starting on Monday.
Later on this September, more of Ireland's IT firms will participate in a similar way at Oracle OpenWorld in San Francisco.
"Obviously, the US is a significant opportunity for Irish companies, and channel partners give them the broadest 50-state reach," said William Corcoran, trade development executive for government agency Enterprise Ireland, which is focused on promoting Irish businesses.
Corcoran explained that the participation of Ireland's IT companies at the two US events will also raise the industry's profile in the UK and Europe.
It is also in Microsoft and Oracle's interest to globally promote interesting vendor solutions to their channel partner networks, said Corcoran.
The software companies attending the Microsoft event span a range of IT areas, including virtualisation, time management applications, content management systems, software developer tools and security software.
However, with the technology industry in Ireland entering a boom period, and organisations like Enterprise Ireland promoting the value of the industry abroad, there is growing concern about the lack of skills in the country to supply the demand.
The Expert Group on Future Skills Needs, which advises the Irish government on skills and training, published its annual review of employment trends in Ireland last week, showing that, despite rising unemployment and diminished job opportunities in most segments of the Irish labour market, skills shortages continue to exist in IT.
This shortage is particularly acute in the areas of software development, network engineering and project management.
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 reportedly raised by Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt at a meeting with the Irish cabinet, at which he said that Ireland needs to ease visa restrictions to allow more foreigners to take up positions at the firm.
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