Technology visa should be introducedto allow highly skilled workers from abroad to educate and upskill ourworkforce
Fine Gael Senator for Cork South Central,Deirdre Clune, has today (Friday) welcomed the release of two reports bythe Expert Group on Future Skills Needs (EGFSN), which provides an overviewof both the supply and demand of skills in Ireland.
“Overall, the findings of these tworeports highlight the significant number of job opportunities in Irelandfor those who have expertise in areas such as languages, ICT and engineering.This raises an immediate need, however, for the development of high-levelICT skills in Ireland across second and third level education so that wecan produce highly skilled graduates to fill these jobs.
“Since 2009, there has been an increasein the number of people sitting higher level computing programmes, whichis a positive step towards building a highly skilled ICT workforce in Ireland,but it does not go far enough. In 2011, the largest number of jobs sourcedfrom outside the European Economic Area was in the ICT sector as we justdon’t have the home grown talent here in Ireland.
“Another area of concern is the difficultyIrish companies experience when they try to bring in highly skilled workersto train and upskill its workforce as they find it extremely difficultto get visas for them. I believe that a technology visa should be introducedwhich would allow highly skilled workers to train and upskill existingand new employees. This visa would provide the talent that technology companiesin Ireland are crying out for, and educate our workforce at the same time.
“Open Ireland is an organisationwhich seeks to develop Ireland as a technological and economic powerhouseand is strongly pushing for the introduction of a technology visa. It isestimated that there will be 20,000 vacancies for ICT positions in thenext 12 months.
“This is not just an Irish problem,there is a global shortage of highly skilled ICT workers with other countriessuch as the US and Germany being forced to look abroad for talent. Thispresents an excellent opportunity for Ireland to position itself as theplace to go for companies sourcing these skills.
“To do this, we must address theeducation and visa issue as a matter of urgency to ensure that we don’tmiss the boat.”