Fermanagh South Tyrone Sinn Féin Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Extent of skill-shortage vacancies "alarming" - McGahan

Published: 3 November, 2014

Sinn Féin MLA, Bronwyn McGahan has today expressed her serious concerns regarding the extent of skill-shortage vacancies in the 6 counties. The findings, from the Commission for Employment and Skills; Employers Skills survey were presented to the Committee for Employment and Learning in early September. Discussing the findings, Ms. McGahan, the spokesperson for Employment & Learning says, "The Commission's Employer Skills Survey gives us reliable, timely and valuable insight into the skills issues being faced by employers. "The survey reveals a sharp rise in skills shortages which may be holding back our economic recovery. "According to the survey, the highest percentages lie within the skilled trade occupations in the Health and Social Work sector at 78%. This is quite alarming, given that the health system is such a vital service and it is currently experiencing such difficulties. The Fermanagh & South Tyrone MLA continues, "At the same time, as a growing shortage of certain skills there is also evidence of a surplus and mismatch in other areas, with the survey finding that almost half of employers report having staff with skills and qualifications beyond those required for their current job. "Therefore, the main obstacle to (more) young people gaining employment is competition in the market place, rather than perceptions that young applicants do not have the capability to perform in the job role. "As regrettable as these percentages are, the agricultural & financial services sectors have both reported a very low base of vacancies that are difficult to fill due to skill shortages, indicating that they are effectively & suitably staffed. Ms.McGahan concludes, "Looking to the future, the survey finds that the majority of employers expect their staff to need to acquire new skills or knowledge over the next year. Therefore I urge the Minister and the Department to provide such opportunities and to support those currently employed and unemployed to ensure they achieve their maximum potential." END