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Jobs growth sector ICT, to benefit from “Government’s Action Plan for Jobs”

Minister for education announces 760 ICT graduate skills conversion places

Job growth sector - ICT

760 new college places in ICT graduate skills conversion courses have been announced by Education Minister Ruairí Quinn, TD. The 760 new places bring to almost 6,000 the number of higher education places the Department of Education and Skills has provided on ICT reskilling programmes since 2011.

CareerWise identified ICT as a jobs growth industry for sometime

CareerWise has highlighted ICT as a key growth sector for Ireland for sometime now, and welcomes today’s announcement from Minister Quinn. Commenting previously on this week’s job announcements in the ICT field, Ken Murphy, Director CareerWise Recruitment said,

“The onus is on the third level institutions to now develop relevant re-training courses and to produce technology graduates to fill these new open roles”.

Ken Murphy (Director CareerWise Recruitment)

The creation of 760 ICT graduate conversion places is fantastic news and provides much needed opportunities for graduates from all disciplines to re-train and meet the future job demands in the ICT sector. The availability of highly skilled IT professionals here has attracted many high profile companies and this talent pool will continue to attract FDI in the future.

ICT graduate skills conversion places

Courses are free, full-time and intensive. Given the nature and intensity of the conversion programme, applicants must already have a level 8 or equivalent qualification. Applications from unemployed job seekers are particularly welcome, the department said.

The first phase of the initiative started last March under the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs. The provision of more than 700 free places on intensive ICT graduate conversion programmes has been designed and delivered in partnership with industry. The majority of participants from the first phase are now completing work placements with industry partners and will be available to take up offers of employment over the next few months.


“This Government is committed to increasing the supply of high-level ICT skills and to supporting job seekers into employment by providing opportunities for graduates from other disciplines to reskill for the expanding employment opportunities in the ICT area”

Ruairi Quinn (Minister for Education)

As part of Budget 2013, Quinn announced €5m would be made available from the National Training Fund to support a second phase of this initiative, which is managed by the Higher Education Authority on behalf of the Department of Education and Skills.

“Building a sustainable talent base of high-level skills for the ICT sector and other sectors is of strategic economic importance to Ireland. I very much welcome the provision of these places on the second phase of the ICT skills conversion programme.”

“This is a win-win programme – providing an additional supply of ICT professionals aligned to ICT skills needs in businesses as identified by the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs and Forfás, and an opportunity for qualified job seekers to convert to a sector with rewarding career prospects,”

Una Halligan (Chair of the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs)


Another signal of strength for FDI in Ireland

The news of the 760 new places for graduates has been welcomed by IBEC bodies ICT Ireland and the Irish Software Association (ISA).

“The technology sector in Ireland is thriving. In the past three years, over 13,700 jobs have been announced by the sector. With the top 10 global technology companies having a significant presence here and a substantial indigenous software sector, Ireland continues to be a powerhouse for technology.”

“With this growth comes demand for skilled, innovative graduates and employees. To address this demand, ICT Ireland and ISA members worked closely with Government departments to develop the ICT action plan. The conversion courses announced today represent the latest iteration of the ICT action plan. All of the courses announced have a significant level of industry involvement, be it though the development of the programmes and/or industry placement as part of the course”.

Paul Sweetman (Director Irish Software Association)


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