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Expert Group Highlights Jobs Market Opportunities

Date: 26 February 2013 

Launch of Vacancy Overview 2012

The Expert Group on Future Skills Needs today (Tuesday, 26 February) published its third Vacancy Overview report, which outlines the areas where job vacancies arose during 2012.  Through an analysis of almost 100,000 vacancies (from two sources – DSP/FÁS Jobs Ireland and, the Vacancy Overview shows that vacancies continue to exist for most occupations with a strong demand for those with work experience, third level qualifications and/or foreign language skills.

Speaking at the launch of the report Ciaran Cannon T.D., Minister for Training and Skills commented, "This report provides insights for those who are looking at skills and training options, those who are making career choices and those who are providing the training and education.  It highlights the skills that are required due to
replacement or expansion demand or because they are currently in short supply.  This information facilitates education and training providers to better align their programmes to labour market needs and provides useful guidance to job seekers, graduates and career guidance professionals on the areas where employment opportunities exist."

Una Halligan, Chairperson, Expert Group on Future Skills Needs said, "This data is telling us clearly that the demand is for those with third level qualifications and experience and also for those with foreign language skills.  While currently we are not seeing a significant expansion in jobs there is some evidence from the analysis of job announcements that there will be future expansion demand particularly in the areas of ICT and sales, marketing and customer services."

"Graduates from the 2011/2012 Springboard courses in these areas and from ICT conversion programmes will be available in the labour market during 2013.  I would like to encourage people to continue to avail of the opportunities that upskilling and conversion programmes provide.  I would also call students and their parents to be guided by those areas of current and future job opportunities when making career choices," concluded Halligan.

Key Findings

  • ICT and sales related vacancies continue to occur most frequently.  Third level qualifications and experience were a prerequisite for many ICT positions while foreign language skills, primarily in German, but also French, Italian, Spanish and Dutch were a requirement for numerous sales and customer service jobs.  
  • Third level qualifications were a requirement for many vacancies across all occupational groups; where this was not a prerequisite, experience was seen as key, particularly in the case of managerial and skilled tradespersons vacancies.
  • The report also highlights vacancies in occupations that are proving difficult to fill with suitably qualified and/or experienced staff, which include certain professionals in ICT, engineering, science, business and healthcare.
  • Most of the vacancies arising were due to turnover and/or replacement rather than expansion demand (except for managers, professionals and associate professionals).  This was particularly the case for the lower skilled occupations.
  • Some evidence of future expansion demand is evident through an analysis of job announcements in the media particularly in the areas of ICT and sales.

Notes to Editors

Vacancy Overview
Produced by the Skills and Labour Market Unit (SLMRU) in FÁS on behalf of the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs (EGFSN), the Vacancy Overview 2012 findings draw on a number of data sources held in the National Skills Database to provide an overview and analysis of the demand for labour as measured by trends in newly advertised job vacancies through both a public and private source: DSP/FÁS Jobs Ireland and

National Skills Database
The National Skills Database (NSD) was developed in 2003 by the SLMRU in FÁS on behalf of the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs.  It has been designed to collate all available information about the supply and demand of skills in Ireland.  It provides a platform for the timely analysis and forecasting of the labour market at occupational level.

Recruitment Agency Survey
Since January 2008, the Skills and Labour Market Research Unit (SLMRU) in FÁS has conducted a biannual recruitment agency survey designed to gather the views of recruitment agencies in respect of the occupations for which vacancies, in their experience, are proving difficult to fill. The findings of the most recent survey which was conducted in October 2012 are presented for each occupational group.

You can access the full report Vacancy Overview 2012.