A survey of over 1,000 Irish citizens yesterday highlighted the scale of the country’s skills challenges as well as attitudes and behaviours to re-skilling. Less than 30% of Irish workers feel ‘very well’ prepared to find a new role.
While 56% of respondents say they are very well equipped in their existing skills to perform at their current job, this figure fell to 28% when they were asked about their capacity to find a new job if they lost their current one.
The Accenture report shows just 29% of respondents said their current skill set would equip them to progress in their current role while just 27 percent say their current skills would contribute to their readiness for future roles as the workplace evolves.
Seventy five percent of respondents have undertaken skills training to boost their employment opportunities in the last 12 months, while a quarter of the population have not – meaning this cohort of different groups are seemingly ill-prepared for a new era of employment, raising questions over the flexibility and capacity of Ireland’s workforce to adapt to a changing economy.
Furthermore, 74% of those surveyed believe businesses have a responsibility to invest more in upskilling their employees. Half of the respondents feel businesses are cutting back on their commitment to investing in skills, while 44% think businesses are not willing to invest in ‘people like me’.
Although 16% of those with no training in the past 12 months feel nothing would encourage them to develop new skills, 84% say they could be motivated through various actions with funding being the top enabler (40%), while a third of respondents say they would respond to an interesting and high-quality learning experience.
Commenting on the report, Country Managing Director at Accenture in Ireland, Alastair Blair said, "A year on from the emergence of the global pandemic, the economic and social impact is evident throughout the world and across our country. Ireland needs to revisit its talent pipeline to help prepare for economic recovery and a new wave of growth. The risk is that large sections of the population will not be able to catch the wave. According to our new survey, they will miss emerging job opportunities because they lack skills which will leave a hole in the workforce that could impact Ireland’s innovation potential and attractiveness for businesses large and small, and as a place for local and indigenous businesses, as well as Foreign Direct Investment, to thrive."
He added, "While this survey highlights the scale of the skills challenges, it also offers clues to the solution. To address the key issues, and to provide a starting point for a talent-rich Ireland, we have developed a three-point plan based on public-private partnership and engagement, working together across government, industry and the community. We know that there is strong demand from government to collaborate with business and create a resilient and diverse talent pipeline for Ireland to fuel our recovery. We have the chance to reset upskilling pathways, and in the process, ensure a fair and sustainable recovery for all."