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How can Ireland’s tech industry bridge the skills gap?

Code Institute’s Jane Gormley and TechIreland’s John O’Dea discuss the growing tech skills gap and what companies need to do about it.

There is a growing shortage of talent in the software development industry. A 2021 report from Solas found that 46pc of science, engineering and tech companies surveyed in Ireland struggled to fill IT roles such as software developers, IT engineers and mobile or web developers.

With third-level degrees often taking three or four years to complete, the speed at which higher education institutions can respond to the market needs for software development graduates means the skills gap will only continue to grow.

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Jane Gormley is the director of career services at online coding educator Code Institute. She told SiliconRepublic.com that the current digital skills gap in Ireland “impacts us all”.

“Encouraging digital literacy and advancement is crucial. We have an opportunity to ensure longevity of a skilled workforce, retention of both indigenous businesses and FDI by demonstrating progress and advancement,” she said.

Code Institute is co-hosting the Dublin Tech Skills Forum with TechIreland on 9 March 2022. The event aims to tackle key themes around changing skills needs in tech and how tech recruitment strategies can be adapted to address those needs.

Gormley said that while the way in which companies are recruiting tech talent is changing, this change needs to speed up.

“New entrants to the industry are still regularly inhibited by language, job specs and job descriptions. We need to work on this if we want to attract the volumes we need,” she said.

“Centralising non-traditional routes into tech is crucial in order to ensure longevity. Taking vocational skills, career changers and apprenticeships models and recognising the crucial response they are making to speeding up access to this industry would speak volumes to the talent community available and able to contribute.”

TechIreland CEO John O’Dea agreed that companies need to “adopt hybrid and holistic approaches” to the growing skills gaps, particularly as emerging tech continues to evolve.

“More and more companies are building disruptive technologies like artificial intelligence and the internet of things. The demand for these skills is growing faster than the education pipeline is delivering,” he said.

“A combination of attracting fresh talent but also developing and upskilling their current teams will be essential. A number of businesses are already leading the way with self-paced learning pathways and incentivising employees upskilling.”

Upskilling opportunities

There have been several initiatives and new courses launched in recent months to address tech skills gaps in Ireland.

Last year, Microsoft launched a digital skills training programme to support 10,000 people in Ireland impacted by Covid-19. Later in the year, Dublin-based education non-profit An Cosán introduced a new suite of digital tools in an effort to tackle Ireland’s digital skills shortage.

Earlier this month, the Irish Government also published the Digital Ireland Framework, which aims to make digital skills a key focus for the country, including having more than 12,400 graduates with higher-level skills by the end of this year.

Meanwhile, third-level institutions are adding a variety of tech courses to their portfolios, covering everything from data centre to cybersecurity skills.

Gormley said jobseekers should look at the investments currently going into digital-focused education and take the opportunity to upskill.

“The resources are available and your efforts will pay off to future-proof your earnings, job satisfaction and career options,” she said.

“Employees too should consider training and skills acquisition as an expected and standard part of their career. Many employers offer this, so utilising these resources is a key part of protecting your skillset.”

Dublin Tech Skills Forum will take place on 9 March 2022. Those interested can register for free.

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Ways Small & Medium-Sized Businesses Can Hire Big Tech Talent

In response to mounting financial concerns, tech giants like Amazon, Microsoft, and Alphabet (Google’s parent company) have recently implemented significant staff cuts. This has prompted industry leaders to reevaluate their hiring practices, recognizing the limitations of Big Tech’s ability to weather challenging economic times.

While the tech industry’s overall stability is assured, the combination of a declining economy and a previous surge in hiring has resulted in substantial job losses. However, this situation also presents an opportunity for small businesses and start-ups to tap into a pool of available tech experts.

To capitalize on this unique scenario, small and medium-sized business (SMB) owners must act swiftly to gain a competitive advantage over larger companies and attract highly skilled candidates.

In this article, John Elf, Technology Contributor at ‘Voice of EU’ and Head of Marketing at Vibertron Technologies, provides insights into some simple but effective strategies for attracting talent in a candidate-heavy market.

Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) can leverage consulting services to attract the best talent, just like big tech companies do. Here’s how SMBs can make use of consulting services to enhance their talent acquisition efforts:

1. Talent Acquisition Strategy Development: SMBs can engage consulting firms specializing in talent acquisition and HR strategies to help them develop a comprehensive talent acquisition strategy. These consultants can assess the organization’s needs, identify talent gaps, and devise effective recruitment and sourcing strategies tailored to the SMB’s specific industry and requirements. This strategic approach ensures that the SMB is targeting the right candidates and maximizing its resources.

2. Employer Branding and Positioning: Consulting firms experienced in employer branding can assist SMBs in developing a strong employer brand that resonates with their target talent pool. They can help SMBs articulate their unique value proposition, culture, and growth opportunities, ensuring that the organization stands out as an attractive employer. These consultants can also provide guidance on how to effectively communicate the employer brand across various channels to attract the best talent.

3. Recruitment Process Optimization: Recruitment service provider can help SMBs, same as LCEs, optimize their recruitment processes, making them more efficient and effective. Consultants can review and streamline the entire hiring process, from job postings and candidate screening to interview techniques and selection methodologies. By improving the candidate experience and ensuring a smooth and timely process, SMBs can enhance their reputation as an employer of choice.

4. Candidate Sourcing and Evaluation: Consulting firms specializing in talent acquisition can assist SMBs in sourcing and evaluating candidates. They can leverage their networks and resources to identify top talent and conduct thorough assessments, including skill evaluations, cultural fit analysis, and background checks. By leveraging external expertise, SMBs can access a broader candidate pool and make well-informed hiring decisions.

5. Compensation and Benefits Consulting: Attracting and retaining top talent often requires competitive compensation and benefits packages. SMBs can engage consulting firms that specialize in compensation and benefits to ensure their offerings align with industry standards and meet the expectations of high-caliber candidates. These consultants can provide insights into market trends, salary benchmarks, and innovative benefit options, enabling SMBs to remain competitive in talent acquisition.

6. Training and Development Programs: SMBs can leverage consulting services to design and implement training and development programs. These programs not only help attract talent but also contribute to employee retention and growth.

Consultants can identify skill gaps, design customized training modules, and provide guidance on employee development initiatives, ensuring that SMBs create a culture of continuous learning and professional advancement.

By utilizing consulting services in talent acquisition, SMBs can access specialized expertise, best practices, and industry insights that are typically associated with larger companies. This approach enables SMBs to compete for top talent on a more level playing field, enhancing their ability to attract and retain the best candidates.


By John Elf

John Elf is Head of Marketing at Vibertron GYPOTech, and an Honorary Contributor at ‘Voice of EU’. A version of this article has already been published.


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Imandra’s AI Innovation Boosts Operational Resilience While Transforming European Exchanges

Imandra’s AI Innovation Transforming European Exchanges

Revolutionizing the landscape of European exchanges, Imandra, an AI startup at the forefront of automated reasoning technology, is making waves with its groundbreaking solutions. Offering a suite of AI-powered services through its flagship product, Imandra Markets, the company is reshaping the way exchanges and trading venues operate, test, and improve their systems.

Imandra Markets leverages advanced AI and digital twin technology to provide exchanges with tools for designing, testing, and auditing complex financial systems. This innovative approach enhances business intelligence and system resiliency, ultimately ensuring compliance and correct implementation while meeting regulatory obligations.

The significance of Imandra’s impact is evident, as its technology now supervises exchange technology responsible for a quarter of all European equities trading. By digitizing venue design and creating ‘digital twins’ powered by automated reasoning AI, Imandra Markets allows exchanges to test and enhance their system operational resiliency, mitigating the risk of outages and failed technology upgrades.

Market outages, with their far-reaching consequences, have prompted regulatory bodies to seek solutions for improving market-wide resilience. The IOSCO Consultation Report, released in December 2023, underscores the importance of addressing software-related issues, which have been responsible for the majority of market outages. Imandra’s Chief Strategy Officer, Paul Brennan, emphasizes the significance of their technology in preemptively identifying defects and inefficiencies, thereby averting potential disruptions before they impact the market.

Imandra Markets empowers organizations to implement changes to their financial infrastructure confidently, ensuring predictability and unlocking avenues for innovation and revenue enhancement. With Imandra’s solutions, newly designed or updated systems can be brought to market more efficiently, allowing for a leap forward in governance and operational excellence.

Imandra’s groundbreaking AI technology is reshaping the operational landscape of European exchanges, offering a cost-effective and efficient approach to system design, testing, and auditing. As the financial industry continues to evolve, Imandra remains at the forefront, driving innovation and ensuring the resilience and reliability of exchange systems.


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— By Darren Wilson | Team ‘The Voice Of EU

— For information: Info@VoiceOfEU.com

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Innovative Kite Sail Technology Startup Paves the Way for Greener Shipping Industry | “EU20”

The maritime sector faces increasing pressure to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels. Recently, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) announced new emissions-reduction targets. In this piece, we will analyze:

  • Beyond The Sea’s Revolutionary Kite Sail Technology
  • A Game-Changer for the Maritime Industry
  • Expanding Possibilities and Environmental Commitments
Overcoming Challenges and Seeking Government Support

Future Opportunities

In response, startups like Beyond The Sea are revolutionizing the industry with their innovative kite sail technology. With the ability to reduce fuel consumption by up to 20%, these kite sails have the potential to transform the way ships and vessels operate.

In response, startups like Beyond The Sea are revolutionizing the industry with their innovative kite sail technology. With the ability to reduce fuel consumption by up to 20%, these kite sails have the potential to transform the way ships and vessels operate.

Beyond The Sea’s Revolutionary Kite Sail Technology

In southwest France’s Arcachon Bay, Beyond The Sea conducted successful tests of their blue inflatable kite sail. The company’s founder, Yves Parlier, combined his sailing expertise with artificial intelligence and automated traction systems to develop a highly efficient kite sail. This innovative technology adapts the sail’s position based on wind conditions, resulting in significant fuel savings.

A Game-Changer for the Maritime Industry

The impact of kite sails on the maritime industry cannot be understated. With approximately 100,000 merchant ships and 4.6 million fishing trawlers worldwide, the potential for widespread adoption of this technology is enormous. The Wind Ship association predicts that by 2030, the market for kite sails could be worth four billion euros, with around 1,400 vessels equipped with this sustainable solution.

READ MORE: ALL ABOUT ‘BEYOND THE SEA’

Expanding Possibilities and Environmental Commitments

Beyond The Sea plans to further develop their kite sail technology. In upcoming tests off the waters of Norway, Japan, and the Mediterranean, they will explore larger kite sizes, aiming to reach 800 square meters within four years. Meanwhile, other companies like Airseas and Chantiers de l’Atlantique are also pioneering alternative solutions, such as larger kites for larger ships and rigid sails for ocean liners.

Overcoming Challenges and Seeking Government Support

While the wind propulsion sector shows promise, challenges remain. The cost of heavy fuel oil and the need for environmental regulations are key considerations. Lobbying for wind to be recognized as a fuel, the sector is working closely with the French government to create a supportive regulatory framework.

Recognizing wind as a viable fuel source could not only accelerate the adoption of wind propulsion technology but also create over 30,000 new jobs by 2030.

Future Opportunities

The innovative kite sail technology developed by Beyond The Sea and other companies presents a game-changing opportunity for the maritime industry. With the ability to significantly reduce fuel consumption and emissions, these sustainable solutions align with the industry’s growing focus on environmental responsibility.

By harnessing the power of the wind, the maritime sector can chart a course toward a greener and more sustainable future.


We Can’t Thank You Enough For Your Support!

— By Johnathan Elf, Contributor ‘The Voice of EU

— Contact Us: Info@VoiceOfEU.com

— Anonymous News Submissions: Press@VoiceOfEU.com


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