Ireland emerged from the pandemic with a remarkable recovery marked by significant increases in employment levels, and a labour market undergoing considerable change. Ireland's workforce has never been larger and it continues to grow, with 2.5 million people in employment by the end of last year. There was significant movement in the economy with over 2 million labour market transitions, driven both by a return to work for those on Pandemic Unemployment Payments and a high degree of movements between jobs for those already employed. The wholesale and retail and accommodation and food sectors in particular saw a large number of hires over the year.
The growth in employment has not only led to an intensification of existing skills shortages, but also the emergence of additional shortages across a range of occupations. The Irish economy needs more ICT professionals and engineers, and there are many roles in healthcare, construction, hospitality and transport that need to be filled. While many of these shortages are being experienced globally, it is imperative that our education and training system continues to evolve to meet the needs of the labour market, particularly in relation to the changing skills requirements associated with technological change, and the transition to a low carbon economy.
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