The Government today (14/03/14) published its plan to fill 44,500 jobs for ICT professionals over the years to 2018.
An extra 1,250 ICT undergraduate places will be made available annually from 2014, as part of the Government’s drive to increase the level of highly skilled professionals domestically, aimed at ensuring that three quarters of job openings can be filled from the Irish education system by 2018.
There will also be a total of up to 2,000 work permits issued per year to ICT professionals with relevant skills in order to meet the demands of the industry, and there will be an increased focus on recent Irish emigrants and EEA nationals.
Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton T.D. and Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn T.D published the ICT Skills Action Plan 2014 at Trilogy Technologies, a growing Irish ICT company based in Dublin with a workforce of approximately 50 people.
Under the Plan, it is aimed to meet 74% of industry demands domestically for ICT professionals by 2018 – up from 45% in 2011 and 60% now. In order to meet this target, Minister Quinn announced a series of reforms aimed at dramatically increasing the availability of graduates:

Provide an additional 1,250 undergraduate ICT places per year in higher education institutions
Increase the retention rate of students on ICT related courses
Launch a further round of ICT Skills Conversion courses
Promote careers in ICT to primary and second level students with industry support
Roll-out courses in Digital media literacy, programming and coding in the new Junior Cycle Student Awards

Minister Bruton outlined further reforms aimed at ensuring that there is a strong ICT talent pool and promoting Ireland as a centre for high-level ICT skills:

Promote STEM and ICT careers through SFI Discover Smart Futures and training of 450+ volunteers to give career talks in schools
Develop a web portal to attract international talent with in demand skills to Ireland
Organise career fairs abroad with the participation of companies who have vacancies
Facilitate the issuing of up to 2,000 employment permits per year to experienced ICT professionals with skills in high demand
Increase efficiency in the employment permits process and introduce new legislation to enhance the application process

Minister Quinn said, “As part of the Government’s drive to make Ireland the most attractive location globally for ICT Skills it is essential that we have a good pipeline of highly skilled graduates to meet the demands of industry.”
“I am delighted the hard work of Government, State Agencies and Industry through the first ICT Action Plan is paying off. When we launched the Plan in 2012, only 45% of the ICT skills demand was being met domestically from higher education programmes. This year the education system is expected to meet 60% of demand. But, we need to be more ambitious and that is why we have set a target of meeting almost three quarters of industry demands here at home by 2018.”
Minister Bruton said: “The ICT sector is a key part of the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs, and over the past two years we have seen significant jobs growth in this area. If we are to sustain and build on this, it is crucial that we deal with one of the biggest issues facing the ICT industry worldwide – skills shortages. We have set out the ambition of making Ireland the most attractive location in the world for ICT skills, and we are delivering on that through a combination of Irish educated people and talent from abroad. Through major changes reforms already delivered and the new plan announced today, we can ensure that we continue to foster the growth of Irish companies and attract multinational companies in this area, and ultimately help deliver the jobs in Ireland that we so badly need”.
The ICT Skills Action Plan 2014 can be accessed at – ICT Skills Action Plan 2014 – Report PDF