Ireland Ireland

FIT, Ireland’s leading ICT training association, is once again coordinating the eSkills for Jobs campaign in Ireland. FIT’s objective for the campaign is to grow awareness of the benefits of improving command of information and communication technology. The campaign in Ireland will target each key demographic, from students who are thinking about their careers, to educationalists & policymakers.

To find out more about eSkills initiatives in your country, including information about jobs and training opportunities, please visit the national website:

"I took on this role because of my sincere belief that the digital world offered a once in a generation opportunity to enhance our lives, to transform education and with it the future prospects of every man, woman and child in this country." Lord David Puttnam, Digital Champion, Ireland

eSkills Manifesto EN

Key Figures

  IE EU27
ICT practitioner workforce 2012 as percent of total workforce 4.1% 3.43%
Forecast ICT practitioner jobs  2015 74000 7503000
Forecast ICT practitioner jobs  2020** 78000 7950000
Vocational training graduates in Computer Science, 2011  75 67000
  Score 2009/2010 Score 2011/2012 EU average
Individuals with high level of computer skills 22% 26% 28.52%
Individuals with high level of internet skills 3% 7% 13.67%
Individuals using the internet (last three months) 65% 75% 71.33%

Table 1& 2: Data to be taken from Empirica country reports:

**Please note based on new research and analysis conducted by Forfás and Expert Group on Future Skills Needs the compound annual growth for ICT practitioner jobs in Ireland is 4.9%. This indicates that the forecast figure for 2020 of 78000 set out by Empirica is very conservative as the figure should be closer to 94000 based on the 2015 figure.

National policy/ strategy related to eSkills


ICT Action Plan

The national policy/strategy relating to e-Skills is the ICT Action Plan first developed in 2012. In line with the emerging skills gaps being identified, the Plan's key targets included doubling output of level 8 mainstream graduates by 2018, and steps to increase supply in the short term through conversion and reskilling programmes.
Significant progress has been made in meeting targets in the Plan:

  • Doubling of NFQ level 8 graduate output is now expected to be achieved by 2015 - 3 years ahead of schedule.
  • There has been a 58% increase in the number of students presenting for higher level maths over the past 3 years.
  • 2,000 graduates on ICT reskilling/conversion courses at NFQ level 8/9+

National initiatives related to eSkills


ICT Action Plan

The main actions within the Plan, most of which refer to the continuation of up-and running programmes, include the following:

  • Springboard: This is a scheme for providing free education to Masters level. The current target is to maximize uptake of 1,400 available places on Springboard 2011 ICT programmes providing qualifications from L6 to L9 NFQ.
  • Jobbridge National Internship Programme: This is a country-wide internship scheme. The current target is to maximize the number of internship places to be made available for unemployed graduates including Springboard participants.
  • Level 8 Conversion Programme: The current target is to launch 1-year full time HDip L8 Conversion Programme in core computing/programming skills, Review of Graduate Skills Conversion Programme: The target here is to secure 1,700 places annually on Masters Degree level, plus programmes directed at needs of ICT/ Biopharma sector.
  • Skillnet: This is a state funded, enterprise-led support body dedicated to the promotion and facilitation of training and upskilling as key elements in sustaining Ireland's national competitiveness. The current target is to establish the Core Training Network Programme (TNP) and the new Job Seeker Support Programme (JSSP) with work placements; and to introduce three ICT training courses under new Future Skills Needs Programme (FSNP).


New Vocational Programmes

Ireland will pilot a new dual education initiative for ICT practitioners in 2014/2015. FIT has developed this new initiative called ICT Associate Professional which combines college based learning with paid work in a related position over a 2 year period. This initiative is a partnership between FIT, The ICT Industry, The Department of Education and SOLAS.