‘’Heavy bureaucracy in government, in industrial support and in education” means it’s taking too long to get work-ready employees, said Tony Devlin, operations development specialist at Ericsson in Athlone.
Speaking at the launch of the Ericsson Atlantic Corridor Primary Science Competition, he said that while the Government is moving in the right direction, particularly with the Back to Education scheme, time is running out.
Ericsson, which employs more than 1,000 people in high-tech, non-manufacturing jobs in Athlone, has set up a post-graduate programme with DCU to produce 50 work-ready potential employees, with academic knowledge and practical skills.
Mr Devlin said there is a need to get graduates quickly to the point where they can begin working, and that will require cutting out “every step that involves a bureaucratic checkpoint”.
The Back to Education scheme, which allows previously unemployed students to keep their social welfare payments while studying, produces “the best of potential employees”, he said, because graduates have real-life skills and with retraining become “the seed capital of the future”.
He said more targeted programmes are required, but they need “less time setting them up and more time executing, less people involved in approving and supporting and bookkeeping and monitoring and more people involved in executing and achieving”.
“The artificial distinction between FAS for industrial training and the colleges and universities for the more academic and the perceived higher order skillset — that’s not helpful. These things are fundamentally interconnected. In many ways what we need tomorrow and the next year is a kind of apprenticeship concept where people are learning the basic skills and the theoretical framework, but they are also practising.”
*Competition details can be found by visiting atlanticcorridor.ie