Tech & Innovation

Irish tech firms looking overseas to fill vacancies

By Business & Finance
28 November 2013

A Limerick-based hi-tech engineering company claims companies are being forced to look abroad to fill vacant job positions due to an ongoing shortfall in engineering and science graduates in Ireland.

The shortage of suitably qualified professionals in Ireland has in recent years led to the majority of positions at Emutex Ltd being filled by overseas applicants.

“What is clear is that innovative thinking and continued growth in the tech sector are key to increased competitiveness, a recovering economy and more opportunities translating into more jobs,” explained Joe Gibbs, COO, Emutex.

Gibbs continued: “Like many in the technological sector in Ireland, Emutex’s continued growth and success is heavily dependent on a continuous supply of innovative and talented graduates in the Computer Engineering and Science field. However, many job vacancies are still being filled by overseas candidates due to the shortage of suitably qualified professionals in Ireland.

“This is simply a result of the low numbers of Secondary School students applying for college places in computing disciplines. There seems to be a genuine disinterest among young people to pursue a career in computing. Technology is everywhere in today’s world but learning about how these technologies work in a hands-on way is what will get young people excited about computing,” he added.

Gibbs’ comments coincide with the launch of the 2013/14 Emutex Scholarship and Internship Programme.

The embedded software solutions firm based in Limerick’s National Technological Park, says the aim of the programme is to encourage and reward innovative thinking in young people considering a career in computing and encourage others to study Computer Engineering and Science helping to meet a steadily increasing demand within the sector.

Last year’s scholarship winner, Robert Bordianu is now working for Emutex having had his third level fees covered by the company for the year.

Commenting on the 2013/14 Emutex Software Innovator of the Year Scholarship, which is aimed at Third Level undergraduate students in software/computing disciplines, Gibbs stated: “We must continue to promote Computer Engineering and Science in secondary and third level education and enable our young people pursue rewarding careers in electronic and software engineering. We were delighted with the response received last year and as a result we have decided to continue with it for 2013/2014. The winning undergraduate student’s Third Level fees will be covered for one year, as well as the opportunity of an internship within the company.”

The scholarship programme invites students to apply their expertise in software development and innovative thinking to create an application using the new Intel Galileo open-source mini-computer. Designed in Ireland and featuring Intel’s new Quark processor, Galileo is a great tool for quickly prototyping simple, interactive designs such as LED light displays that respond to social media, or for tackling more complex projects, from automating home appliances to building life-size robots controlled by a smartphone.

All applicants will first submit their ideas on the Emutex website. From this, three finalists will be chosen. They will be given the device and any equipment they require to build a working prototype of their idea. All of these ideas will be showcased on the Emutex website and explained in simple terms so that they can be easily understood by all ages. Finally, the student with the best project will win the Emutex Software Innovator of the Year Scholarship for 2013/2014.