96,000 vacancies per year to 2014, says Fás

A NEW report from Fás estimates there will 96,000 job vacancies per year between 2011-2014, if the economy remains on the road to recovery.

That compares to just 55,000 vacancies notified to Fás in 2009.

The report The National Skills Bulletin, prepared on behalf of the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs, predicts the greatest number of job openings will be in the professional and service occupations where it says there will be 16,000 and 15,000 opportunities annually.

It also predicts significant growth in vacancies in the services and clerical areas, both of which could generate 14,000 opportunities.

The forecasts are predicated on four factors:

* The global economy will recover and Ireland’s trading partners will resume growth.

* Ireland restores its competitiveness.

* The financial system is restored and credit flows.

* The fiscal situation is stabilised.

The annual figure of 96,000 comprises 44,000 positions which will become available due to retirements and deaths. The other 52,000 will come through the expansion of industries.

The authors of the report highlight specific areas where, they believe, there is particular room for expansion.

They say there are particular shortages in the areas of science, engineering, information technology, healthcare, business and finance, marketing and sales and transport. In those areas, they say recruiters are actually reporting difficulties in filling specialist roles.

Looking at the past year, the report found that during 2009, employment decreased in most sectors of the economy, with the greatest decline recorded in construction, manufacturing, agriculture, wholesale and retail.

“However, employment increased in the ICT sector, with modest increases also recorded in the transport, food and health sectors. In addition, as a result of the deregulation and the growth of the renewable energy sector, employment increased in the energy sector (electricity and gas),” it said.

The authors also reported progress toward National Skills Strategy targets. They found the share of third-level graduates in the labour force increasing by 2 percentage points to 39% between the last quarters of 2008 and 2009, “making good progress towards the target of 48% by 2020”.

“The National Skills Bulletin is a compulsory read not just for those involved in policy making, but also for education and training providers, those deciding on education and training choices and their career advisers to provide insight into where career opportunities exist in these difficult times,” said Una Halligan, chairman of the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs.


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