Ireland’s Midlands is set to become an increasingly important ICT hub, new research published today suggests. According to the Midlands ICT Cluster Skills Survey, regional companies expect to create up to 800 new ICT jobs over the next 3 years, in addition to over 3,000 already employed across the region.
The research was carried out by the Midlands Regional Skills Forum, an industry and education partnership, on behalf of the Midlands ICT Cluster. A key finding from the forum was that currently over 70% of companies responding have critical vacancies. Opportunities exist for people with skills in the following areas:
- Cloud computing and software development (sought by 50% of respondents).
- Data analytics, AI and machine learning (40%)
- Cyber security, networking, IT service management and project management (25%).
Ms. Sinéad Pillion, Head of Operations for Ericsson and Industry Chair of the Midlands ICT Cluster Steering Committee, said, “The launch of the Midlands ICT Cluster Skills Survey highlights the genuine opportunities that exist supporting the already strong ICT ecosystem in the region. With 93% of participants anticipating growth in the next three years there will be significant job growth in tech for the Midlands. Meeting this demand will require the ongoing collaboration between the regional skills forum and businesses.”
Dr. Anne Cusack, Chair of the Midlands Regional Enterprise Plan Steering Committee, stated, “the results of the ICT Cluster Skills Survey can be seen as a great opportunity for the overall growth of the Midlands region. Attracting further talent to the Midlands while also enhancing the existing talented workforce living in the region is a priority for both the steering committee and local businesses.”
Mr. John Costello from the Midlands Regional Skills Forum who conducted the survey on skills, talent and education, commented on the findings, “the results contain a strong endorsement of work, being carried out across the region, to enhance the level of skills available, from extensive schools programmes, to ICT career pathways, and third level qualifications. Most notably by the fact that 60% of businesses anticipate being able to hire from the pool of talented people already living in the region.”
The survey aligns with Future Jobs Ireland’s strategic message, with a focus on skills and talent. The survey sought to identify critical vacancies, key skills needs, and other related strengths, weaknesses. opportunities, and threats (SWOT) relevant to the Midlands ICT Cluster. The survey was undertaken on behalf of the Midlands ICT Cluster by the Skills & Talent Working Group and the Midlands Regional Skills Forum.