16 thoughts on “National Skills Bulletin 2013”

  1. “the persistence of skills shortages in the areas of ICT, science, engineering, sales, marketing, business, finance and healthcare”

    How many unemployed people are offered serious retraining in these areas (of expensive courses)?

  2. @ PR Guy: ““the persistence of skills shortages in the areas of ICT, science, engineering, sales, marketing, business, finance and healthcare”

    STEM ‘shortages’ have been with us since – late 1970s?, if I recall correctly. Nothing new here. “Just move along folks!”

    Some dozy folk seem to have the opinion that someones – anyones, ought (or should) be able to conjure up these skills in some magical fashion. Takes time. The third-level education sector is Titanic like. Very difficult to alter its course at full speed.

    Healthcare (medics and nurses) is however, a very different ball of wax! I think the man called it Angola!

  3. The list of authors would appear to demonstrate a severe gender bias…would this impact?

    On a practical note the IT reporting that the banks are less reliant on the ECB and now only owe them about 37billion. The department says that one of the reasons is the banks “have substantially completed deleveraging”.

    If that is the case can anyone figure out how they are going to get 37 billion to repay the remainder or are they on lifetime support?

  4. Almost two-thirds of the 9.3m people in the US workforce who had STEM (science, technology, engineering, or mathematics) degrees in 2010 were employed in non-STEM occupations. 

    The Irish skills shortage is mainly a myth and the ICT lobby groups make a song and dance about vacancies to highlight to politicians how crucial these firms are to wangle various inducements (e.g reducing employees income tax via the R&D tax credit).

    ‘Shortages have been identified for chemical, pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical scientists.’

    There is an international market and where there maybe only a small number of companies in Ireland with these functions, multinationals get people to move from other units. International experience is often a career plus.

    The report says agricultural employment had risen but the CSO had warned in the source report that this may not be so…….

    Caution also is required when it’s stated that 83,000 are employed in ICT – most of Google’s staff are in sales and general administration. Ditto for Apple.

    On a related topic, I just got an answer to a query from Intel this morning.

    Intel says it had 105,000 employees on its payroll at the end of 2012 with 49,700 in the US; 8,800 in Malaysia; 8,400 in China; 7,000 in Israel; 4,100 in India and 2,600 in Ireland and Costa Rica.

    There is a figure of 4,500 that has been quoted for years by Intel itself for total jobs at Leixlip and it has been repeated by ministers and the media.

    So the total for Intel’s payroll is 2,600 and the up to additional total of 1,900 are contractors including for example a security firm’s staff.

    I asked Intel for a breakdown of the contract staff but I was told that “the figure deals with both long term and temporary contract staff but we do not provide any additional breakdown of the figure as the environment is quite dynamic and the specific mix within the numbers changes quite regularly.”

    For example the external canteen staff are included in numbers working at the Intel campus.

    The reliable figure is the number on the payroll. The rest is a changing total used to mislead.

  5. @ MH: “The Irish skills shortage is mainly a myth and the ICT lobby groups make a song and dance about vacancies to highlight to politicians how crucial these firms are to wangle various inducements … ”

    Spot on! Those Intel employments are scary. Looks like we are sucking the hind-tit on this one. What might be the effect if the government abolished all those taxey incentive stuff. DOCM put up an eclectic list of same. Anyone know the amount of tax revenue forgone as a result of these ‘incentives’. If we stopped using Irish language as an official language, what would be the ‘saving’ there?

    The Bulletin asserts an aggregate (blended – as in soup, I suppose!) un-employment rate of 23%!!! Who said we were ‘recovering’?

  6. @Brian Woods ” The third-level education sector is Titanic like. Very difficult to alter its course at full speed.”

    This is nonsense. The third level sector had responded to needs of all sorts, although its ability to do so is now prevented by caps on employment and ridiculous cuts in salaries. People who teach this skills are also in short supply and it makes no sense to cut their salaries for political reasons. ICT skills are not short because third level education does not provide courses, it is because of limitations of previous levels of education and simply because people do not wish to do these courses, but prefer “easier” stuff or “respectable” occupations like law.

  7. On the inter-relationship (or not) between Skills and TradeUnionism

    Bill Roche

    Unions sidelined in silence a century after the Lockout
    Instead of the sometimes violent opposition of the 1913 Dublin Lockout, unions face a process of marginalisation

    […] the level of unionisation grew nearly continuously from the late 1940s, reaching its historical high-water mark in the early 1980s, when more than six out of 10 employees at work were union members. From the 1980s things began to change again for Irish trade unions. Levels of union organisation went into sustained decline. Currently fewer than one in three employees are members of trade unions, though the level is much higher in the public service.

    How can these trends be explained?

    Read on: http://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/unions-sidelined-in-silence-a-century-after-the-lockout-1.1505329

  8. On Political Skills

    For all the summer school talk, politics is still a closed shop run by dinosaurs
    Opinion: Each of the big parties has stood by while sovereignty has been eroded

    ‘The one institution that remains unchanged despite all that has happened in the last five years is the political system. A fair description of it would be dinosaurs operating a cartel. There is a pretence there is a distinction between the three larger parties. The two main ones – Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael – have obscure names – and the third, Labour, is separated by a chasm from the values of James Connolly. The cause of the divide between FF and FG has no resonance in contemporary Ireland – it is rooted in history.

    http://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/oireachtas/for-all-the-summer-school-talk-politics-is-still-a-closed-shop-run-by-dinosaurs-1.1500848

  9. DoD
    I remember you posting a paper by some belfast fella on complexity econ recently, any idea what it was? (cant remember the thread) thanks

  10. @ Dearg Doom: Note your comment. I’m holding my position on this one as I have no idea whether or not you have sufficient knowledge and experience of Irish third-level academic practices to challenge me. If you do, please explain. Thanks.

    @ DO’D: Dinosaurs? Pygmy shrews maybe! Closed shop? More like an unthethered submersible drifting where the currents may take it!

    The decline in trades union membership was inevitable – the leaderships became increasingly aligned with management (and vice versa) as both cosied up to the political elites – who in their turn were divesting themselves of the influences of their revolting members.

    Mass participation in politics is, for the moment anyways, relegated to Twittering on a touchscreen. Standing on a picket line (as I once did for 42 days of Irish wintery weather) is not exactly a ball of laughs. And then our union leadership ‘sold out’. Shameful stuff. Actually I was ‘safer’ as a non-union member!

  11. @C O’B

    Yes – Dave Snowden has some good ideas.

    @BWS

    The so-called ‘Croke Park Agreement’, as I have noted before here, signals the death-knell of private sector trade unionism. I’ve been on both sides – a bit of organising – and dialogue with TUs in production.

    Irish TUs have never really got into the ‘skills upgrade’ game. Bill Roche and co at UCD and Paddy Gunnigle and co at UL have done the best research. Who’d be a bus driver these days?

Comments are closed.