Wednesday, April 10, 2013

2,000 additional ICT graduates to be provided in the coming year as part of Government drive to make Ireland the internet capital of Europe – Minister Quinn, Minister Bruton


Target of 700 additional employment permits in ICT sector under new reforms driven by Minister Bruton

An additional 1,300 graduates from industry led programmes delivered by Minister Quinn

A total of 2,000 additional ICT graduates-level professionals will be provided in the coming year through the education system and the employment permits system, as part of a series of reforms aimed at making Ireland the internet capital of Europe. The reforms are being driven by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD, and the Minister for Education and Skills, RuairĂ­ Quinn TD.

The changes are part of Action Plan for Jobs 2013, and have an ultimate aim of providing Ireland with the highest proportion of ICT graduates as a share of third level graduates by 2018.

The Ministers made the announcements today [Wednesday] at Version 1, a leading Irish ICT company. Based in Dublin, it employs over 350 people and has hired several people in senior technology positions through the employment permits system in recent years. This has allowed the company to win new business and ultimately create new jobs. Version 1 is also announcing today that it is hiring ten people, who have all graduated from the new ICT conversion courses.

A series of new reforms to the employment permits system announced today by Minister Bruton will target:
·        An increase of 50%, or 700, in the number of employment permits granted over the coming year in the ICT sector. International research has shown that for every high-tech job created, a further 4-5 jobs are created elsewhere in the economy.
·        A reduction of 33% in the processing time for employment permits
·        Improvements in the appeals process and a reduction in the number of appeals
·        Broadening the highly-skilled eligible occupations list
·        Improved customer service and communications
·        Other areas where there is also a shortage of sufficient skilled talent

The employment permit system is demand-led and there is a global demand for high-tech skills. Therefore the changes being made to the system seek to increase Ireland’s attractiveness as a location for international mobile talent.

Under the ICT Skills Action Plan published by Ministers Quinn and Bruton last year, an additional 1,300 ICT graduates will be supplied in 2013 by the education system, including:

·        700 additional graduates from ICT skills conversion Programmes
·        
600 additional graduates from Springboard ICT courses.
The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD, said:

“The ICT sector forms a key part of the Government’s plans for jobs and growth, and since we have come to office we have seen an increase of more than 11,000 in the number of people at work in this sector. We in Government are determined to sustain this growth with ambitious action to make Ireland the internet capital of Europe. In order to do this we must have structures in place, through the employment permits system as well as the education system, to ensure that Irish and multinational businesses in the sector cancan hire the skilled workers they need in Ireland.

“International research has shown that every high-tech job created leads to an additional 4-5 jobs elsewhere in the economy. 50% of companies in Silicon Valley are started by non-US citizens. These changes are a win-win for Ireland, and help will ensure that we can create a truly world-class ICT sector in Ireland, which will provide enormous benefits for the economy and large numbers of badly-needed jobs for Irish workers. I am determined that, through implementation of a range of ambitious reforms we will deliver on our aim of making Ireland the internet capital of Europe.

“I wish to pay tribute to a range of senior industry figures, in particular Sean O’Sullivan, for their work in helping to develop these proposals”.

Minister Quinn TD said: “The first 400 graduates from the ICT conversion programmes are now available.  The decision by Version 1 to recruit 10 of these graduates demonstrates the potential that exists to significantly expand the pool of talent available to the ICT sector“.

A further 300 graduates from  the conversion programmes will be available before the end of the year as well as 600 graduates from high level Springboard ICT programmes. The impact of these initiatives will be to double the projected output of honours degree level ICT graduates from the education system in 2013.

Commenting further, the Minister said: “By working together to design and deliver the ICT conversion programmes, industry and the higher education system are helping to create tangible employment opportunities for graduates in key growth areas of the economy.”

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