Job Opportunities in Ireland

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The economy of Ireland is a modern knowledge economy, focusing on services and high-tech industries. As an international trading economy, with a small domestic market, Ireland is heavily dependent on foreign trade and investment. Regularly cited as one of the most open markets in the world, and rating highly in globalization indexes.

With improved performance of all sectors of the economy, skills shortages appear across a range of occupations, however many of these are small in magnitude and in particular niche areas requiring a number of years’ experience.

Skills shortages in Ireland include:

  • Science:

Experienced professionals (e.g. five years or more) and niche scientific areas typically associated with the pharmaceutical, bio-pharma and food innovation industries. Shortages, albeit small in number, have been identified in relation to the following roles:

  • chemists/analytical scientists (especially product formulation, and analytical development for roles in biopharma)
  • quality control analyst including pharma co-vigilance (i.e. drug safety) roles.
  • Engineering:

The demand for engineers, typically for roles in pharmaceutical and medical devices manufacturing, relates largely to those with significant experience (at least five years) in industry specific settings. Shortages include:

  • process and design (including R&D)
  • quality control/quality assurance (including standards, compliance and regulatory affairs, mostly EHS3 compliance)
  • automation (including lean processes)
  • validation/computer validation system (CVS), CQE (certified quality engineer) certification
  • chemical engineers
  • electrical engineers (safety, tech. specification, mechatronics - development and integration of mechanical, electrical and software systems; power generation and transmission)
  • mechanical engineers: with skills and experience in polymer engineering and injection moulding
  • technicians: quality assurance/control, process (e.g. injection moulding/polymer engineering), extrusion and maintenance.
  • ICT:

Shortages of ICT skills have been identified in the following areas:

  • software developers: mobile (iOS/Android), database (with Oracle/SQL), web, cloud; with skills in Java, JavaScript, C++, .Net, PHP, CSS, F#, Python and Ruby on Rails the most frequently mentioned
  • engineers: network (Linux, Open Source), database, QA, automated performance testers, DevOps (developing/testing, process re-engineering and communication skills)
  • systems/solutions architects, database architects (e.g. data centres/data warehousing)
  • web design (niche areas only): particularly web related applications focusing on enhancing users’ online experience (UX) and supporting user interaction (UI) with 3-5 years’ experience
  • InfoSec (IT security), IoT (internet of things), cyber security analyst, data/information security, network security
  • business intelligence: BI solutions, big data analysts (e.g. Hadoop, Cassandra, SQL), ERP (enterprise resource planning) with SAP
  • IT managers and business analysts (especially systems migration and IT project management e.g. waterfall and agile)
  • IT technicians: troubleshooting, tech support with languages, particularly German and database administrators.
  • Business and financial

Shortages of skills have been identified in the following areas:

  • accounting: financial and management accountants with expertise in solvency, taxation, IFSR4 relevant skills and regulatory compliance; accountants for roles in industry with ERP system and reporting tools, as well as language skills; actuaries
  • business intelligence and risk analysis; financial systems analysts; entry level and experienced revenue managers (specific sectors, e.g. hospitality)
  • data analytics: experienced (5 years+) statisticians; economists and data scientists (big data, data visualisations and quantitative modelling)
  • FinTech: business and financial professionals with skills in specific software packages and experience (including international)
  • financial management/financial analysis: trustee managers; deposit managers; payroll managers
  • multilingual financial clerks: credit controllers; accounts payable/receivable; payroll specialists; fund accounting and transfer pricing specialists.
  • Healthcare

Shortages continue to persist for the following occupations:

  • medical practitioners
  • nurses – advanced nursing practitioners (e.g. intensive care, operating theatre, theatre nurse managers), registered nurses (e.g. general nurse, cardiovascular care, elder persons’ care, paediatric, oncology, intellectual disability care, fertility) and clinical nurse managers
  • radiographers (clinical specialists; MRI and CT radiographers)
  • niche area specialists (audiologists, cardiac technician, dieticians).
  • Construction professionals

Shortages of the following skills have been identified:

  • construction project managers (with relevant experience and specialist knowledge)
  • quantity surveyors, building services/structural/site engineers.
  • Construction craft
  • A shortage of skills has been identified for the following occupations: curtain wallers, Glaziers, steelfixer, steel erectors, pipelayers, shuttering carpentry, shift managers and supervisors.
  • Other skilled trades:
  • TIG/MIG welders
  • tradespersons with expertise in making highly complex precision tools
  • skilled butchers/de-boners
  • chefs
  • Transport
  • skills relevant to supply chain management has been identified, including: purchasing managers and senior buyers, senior planner (supply chain management including demand forecasting), distribution specialists with technical expertise (biopharma), administrative roles in procurement, supply chain and logistics with languages.
  • drivers, including: heavy goods vehicle (HGV) drivers/articulated truck drivers/rigid truck with Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC), fork lift drivers (e.g. with VNA and/or turret license, reach truck), 360 machine drivers (14 ton).
  • Sales & customer service

In the context of international trade, issues with availability of the following skills relevant to sales and customer care have been identified:

  • technical sales (e.g. software B2B and SaaS products)
  • vendor managers/CRM roles with European languages (Nordic, Dutch and German).
  • marketing experts required to lead product/brand management and business development (with languages)
  • Operatives
  • qualified CNC (computer numeric control) operatives: particularly in high technology manufacturing (e.g. medical devices and pharmaceuticals) and engineering
  • production operatives: vacancies, particularly in the high-tech manufacturing/med-tech sector
  • construction operatives: ground workers, scaffolders, experienced tower crane operatives and pipelayers in line with the upturn in the construction industry.

More details on these shortages can be found in the National Skills Bulletin and Monitoring Ireland's Skills Supply 2016.


Last modified:17/10/2018