The Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh T.D. and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys T.D. have announced today at Donegal Digital partner Pramerica's campus in Letterkenny, targets to deliver more than 47,000 graduates with high level ICT skills by 2022.
Technology Skills 2022: Ireland’s Third ICT Skills Action Plan sets out priority actions to meet Ireland’s needs for graduates skilled in computing and electronic and electrical engineering to support and drive economic performance over the coming years. This plan is informed by research conducted by the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs (EGFSN).
The ambitious targets in the plan will increase the total number of graduates with high-level ICT skills by more than 5,000 every year by 2022. Some of the measures to grow graduate numbers include:
- Expanding the number of graduates from mainstream computing and electrical and electronic engineering courses in higher education from 4,220 to 4,830 by 2022.
- Expanding the numbers of relevant Skillnet Ireland programmes which are aligned with the NFQ by more than 1,000 by 2022.
- Providing new options to embed high-level ICT apprenticeships within the education and training sector to attract more than 1,000 new entrants per year by 2020.
- A high-level ICT reskilling pathway to provide opportunities for up to 2,750 people from diverse backgrounds between 2019-2022.
Programmes will target areas of high demand and high potential growth, including Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Animation, Gaming, Blockchain, Internet of Things, 3D Printing, Augmented and Virtual Reality, Cybersecurity/Next Generation Security.
Launching the Action Plan at Pramerica, Minister McHugh said: "Our ability to produce, attract and retain graduates with high-level ICT skills is vital to our future economic performance. The education and training sector has responded strongly to demand for high-level ICT skills, with a 70% increase in the numbers of graduates with degree level qualifications over the past six years".
Furthermore, the number of job openings for high-level ICT professionals is set to reach 18,000 a year by 2022. "The continued development and attraction of an adequate pipeline of high level ICT professionals is not just an issue confined to the technology sector, but a national economic priority", added Minister Humphreys. "This plan, which is an excellent example of collaboration between Government and industry, will be crucial to maintaining and advancing the competitiveness and confidence in Irish-based enterprise both domestically and in global markets in the years ahead."