Written answers

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Department of Education and Skills

Third Level Education

Photo of Noel RockNoel Rock (Dublin North West, Fine Gael)
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5. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills his views on the lack of third level graduates in software development; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29915/16]

Photo of Noel RockNoel Rock (Dublin North West, Fine Gael)
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10. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills his plans to attract students to third level education courses in software development; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29914/16]

Photo of Richard BrutonRichard Bruton (Dublin Bay North, Fine Gael)
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I propose to take Questions Nos. 5 and 10 together.

The Deputy will be aware that in March 2014, my Department and the Department of Jobs Enterprise and Innovation, launched an ICT Skills Action Plan 2014 - 2018. The Plan was developed in close collaboration with industry. The plan sets out a collaborative, system-wide response, across Departments, agencies and the education and enterprise sectors aimed at building the domestic supply of graduates from the education system and ensuring Ireland maintains a strong ICT talent pool and promoting Ireland internationally as a centre for high-level ICT skills. Implementation of the Plan is underway, with oversight of a high level steering group comprising DES, DJEI and representatives from industry and the education sector.

A number of significant developments have taken place since the ICT Action Plan was published in 2014. In 2015, my Department published the Digital Strategy for Schools and commenced work on the development of the Regional Skills Fora. The Department has also commenced funding for the Associate Profession ICT and new Apprenticeship models are now being developed. The National Skills Strategy 2025 was published in January 2016, which includes a range of relevant actions.

In this context, the Action Plan for Education includes an action related to the review of the existing ICT Action Plan and publication of a new Plan. This review has already commenced and it is expected to be completed by Q4 2016.

Updated data on progress in increasing the supply of ICT graduates levels 8 to 10 and updated projections for the period to 2018 are set out in the following table. The updated figures show that the actual number of graduates on mainstream programmes at levels 8 to 10 was higher than previously projected for 2014. The First Destinations Report for the 2014 graduate cohort also shows that a higher proportion of graduates entered the labour market as opposed to pursuing further studies compared to the 2013 cohort.

These new projections include data for graduate output from publicly funded programmes (publicly funded HEI mainstream programmes at levels 8 to 10 and all Springboard+ programmes) and output from private colleges.

ICT Action Plan target update

Source20142015201620172018
L 8/9/10 mainstream net graduate supply2,6992,6692,9843,0353,435
L8 ICT Conversion Graduate Supply (1-year full-time)523633852888888
L8 ICT Conversion Graduate Supply (2-year part-time)0000499
Total L8/9 Springboard part-time graduate supply574674436203203
Private Colleges (excluding Springboard) L8/9/10 graduate output225225225225225
Total Irish-based Level 8+ graduate supply4,0214,2014,4974,3515,250
Projected Level 8+ Job Openings5,8496,5126,8917,1147,284
74% Target 4,3284,8195,0995,2645,390
Total NFQ Level 8 - 10 graduates supply as % of job openings70%66%66%62%73%

Comments

PJ Coleman
Posted on 14 Oct 2016 9:03 am (Report this comment)

Of course the numbers produced by the minister are not accurate as they describe 'ICT' graduates and not 'Software Development' graduates as the question asked.

For example IT management courses are included in the above, but they do not produce software developers. The same applies to ICT conversion courses: someone studying programming for 4 hours per week for 24 weeks does not become a software developer...

Time to really focus on Software Development courses.

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