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Sep 032009

A dearth of jobs and apprenticeship opportunities in Ireland has seen demand for post leaving cert (PLC) level courses sky-rocket this year, leaving school-leavers and redundant workers fighting it out for limited college places.

Institutions have been inundated with requests for courses, receiving on average around twice as many applications as there are places available. The demand, thought to be driven by a lack of alternative options in today’s workplace, has been described as unprecedented.

Demand in the PLC sector is also being boosted by an influx of disappointed third-level applicants who didn’t receive an offer of a college place through the the over-subscribed CAO system this year, which also fielded a record number of applications.

In all there were 78,982 applications to the CAO this year, an increase of 7.5% on 2008, and as of last week a total of 44,481 places had been accepted. Further education colleges report that they have processed 60,000 applications for the 31,688 PLC places they have available with a number of colleges reporting a significant rise in the number of applications from mature students, echoing the increasing number of job losses.

Jul 062009
Image of euro coinage

Image via Wikipedia

(Written by Professor Ciaran Murphy (Business Information Systems, UCC)
edited for Career Moves by Calvin Jones

Per head of population Ireland has the unique distinction of being the biggest exporter of services in the world today by quite a margin. That may sound like an extraordinary fact, but it’s exactly what Forfas, Ireland’s national policy advisory body for enterprise and science, says in its report "Catching the Wave – A Services Strategy for Ireland", and is a testament to the efforts of Enterprise Ireland and the IDA in attracting investment in to the sector.

The services sector spans a gamut of service-based industries that include Financial Services; Computer Services and Software; Healthcare Services; Education Services; Tourism; Creative and design services; Maritime Services; Transport; Bloodstock & agriculture; Engineering, Environmental & Architectural Services; Business Services; Professional & Consulting Services; and Research & Development Services. Together these industries contribute a massive 63% of added value to the national economy.

In the decade between 1997 and 2007, the gross value added in the Irish economy almost trebled from €60 billion to €170 billion. Two thirds of that growth was attributed to the services sector, where the value added figure rose from €34 billion to €108 billion.

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