Ireland’s language lag affecting our competitiveness

Senator Ronan Mullen has urged Minister For Education Ruairí Quinn to devise “imaginative strategies” to promote language skills at second and third-level across Ireland.
“Minister Quinn has heard about many issues this week from the various teacher unions. One issue that must not be overlooked is the serious lack of language skills in the Irish workforce. This skills shortage is impeding our competitiveness. Recently PayPal had to recruit 500 staff from overseas to fill job vacancies in the State because they simply couldn’t find the workforce with the necessary language skills here.”
“Looking at many advertised jobs, language skills are a prerequisite – particularly in sales and customer care. International companies are embarking on targeted immigration recruitment initiatives to address the lack of multilingual skills in the Irish population.”
“Minister Quinn should address the shortage of language courses offered at second and third-level. Other imaginative strategies are needed. We must work to generate enthusiasm for languages among children in primary schools.
“Otherwise Ireland may no longer hold appeal to the many international progressive ICT companies that have set up here in recent years,” Senator Mullen concluded