Despite the gloomy outlook, there are still job openings in certain industries, says Fas

The Irish economy is in the middle of a major downturn with unemployment having doubled to 11% in the last year, employment falling and redundancies at record levels. There will not be enough jobs for everyone in the next few years and unemployment will rise further. However, there will still be some jobs in growth areas.

Demand from Labour Turnover

Even during a slowdown, there is always a demand for recruits in occupations employing large numbers of people where labour turnover is an on-going feature.

Six main areas in Ireland are
  • Sales Assistants (i.e. shops)
  • Clerical (office work, accounts)
  • Caring (health care, child care, elder care)
  • Catering (Chefs, waiters, fast food)
  • Hairdressing
  • Security (shops, office, factories)
Growth Areas because of the Downturn

As people cut back on spending, some products and services may experience increased demand.

  • Sale of Second-Hand Goods
  • Door-to-door selling and distribution
  • Repairs and Maintenance (Clothing & Footwear, Electrical Goods, Home DIY, Motor Vehicles)
  • Green Energy (e.g. Solar Panels, Heat-Pump Installer, Bio-mass Boiler Installer, BER Assessor, Insulator, Smart Building systems)
  • Money Lending
  • Fast-food
  • Vegetable/Fruit Gardening
Start Your Own Business

The lack of jobs is likely to lead to an increased demand for persons to start their own businesses. Such opportunities are likely to arise across a range of occupations from construction, repairs and maintenance, personal services, office and business services and teaching/training.

SYOB training may be a very relevant option for many redundant workers who have gained experience working in (now) down-sized areas including construction professionals, managers and craftspersons.

Skills and Labour Shortages

At present, there are few areas of skills or labour shortages. Any shortages are now confined to areas typically for persons with third-level qualifications and specific expertise and work experience. Thus, there is not a shortage of recent graduates, but rather persons with suitable experience.

The main occupations identified as being in short supply are:

  • Health (e.g. Doctors and Nurses)
  • Software Engineers (with experience in networks and specific software applications (e.g. Java).
  • Accountants (with expertise in regulation, compliance and risk)
  • Actuaries
  • Marketing Managers (with considerable experience)
  • Technical Sales Representatives with knowledge of particular products/services
  • 'Dual' Chemists/Chemical Engineers
  • IT specialists with fluent foreign language skills
Longer-Term Demands

While prospects for the world economy are very uncertain at present, if we assume that the world and Ireland will eventually return to the previous economic growth path then there is a widespread consensus on the main sectors and occupations that will grow in the future. The fastest growth areas will be in occupations requiring third level qualifications (professional and associate professional jobs) and in services such as caring and sales.

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