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There are now 2.19 million people employed in Ireland, new figures show

61,900 additional people entered employment in 2017, according to the latest National Skills Bulletin.

Image: Shutterstock/yuttana Contributor Studio

THERE ARE 2.19 million people employed in Ireland after over 61,900 additional people entered employment in 2017, according to the latest National Skills Bulletin. 

Produced by Solas, the Further Education and Training Authority, the Bulletin provides an overview of the Irish labour market at occupational level.

It found that employment growth was particularly strong in construction, accommodation and food, and the education sector. 

Construction employment increased by 12,300, driven primarily by an increase in employment in skilled trades. 

Accommodation and food employment saw an increase of 13,400 relating to waiters, kitchen assistants and chefs. 

Meanwhile, education employment saw a boost of 11,400 relating to lecturers, secondary school teachers and education support teachers. 

Around 400,000 people started in a new role last year, the Bulletin found. This occurred most frequently in occupations such as catering assistants, waiters, bar staff, sales, and professionals such as IT roles, education and health.

During 2017, employers continued to source skills from outside Europe. Around 9,400 new employment permits were issued in 2017, a 22% increase on the previous year. Most new permits were issued for those employed in IT and health. 

Industry demand for certain skills was high, with vacancies identified across a range of occupations including IT, science, healthcare and construction. 

Minister for Education Joe McHugh said that it is “important that we reflect on the information in the National Skills Bulletin as we seek to build on the success of the Irish economy in recent years”. 

“By understanding the needs of the labour market, we can identify new policies and actions necessary to ensure the best opportunities for our citizens,” he said. 

Despite the positive trends, the Bulletin identifies shortages across a breadth of occupations. It is evident that there is no single action to take when addressing the shortages. 

“An examination of the cause and the type of shortage will lead to varying interventions, whether it is attracting talent from abroad, or examining the current and future education and training provision.” 

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