• Learning for LifeandWork

Skills shortages in the workplace

Updated: Nov 1, 2020

In Northern Ireland most people are employed in the public sector, which means that they are employed by the government in areas such as health, education and government agencies. This means that most people in Northern Ireland rely on the government for jobs and wages.

However this also means that, in Northern Ireland, there is a skills shortage in:

  • science and engineering, construction and manufacturing.

There are also skills shortages in:

  • STEM skills, that is in jobs in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.

Also there is a shortage in:

  • digital skills in Northern Ireland.


How can these skills shortages impact businesses in Northern Ireland?

  • If there is a skills shortage in a business, the business may lose trade because their employees may be unable to carry out certain skilled work and this may reduce sales and profits.

  • As a result of shortages in certain skills, businesses may need to outsource some of their work to other countries where the workforce has these skills. This will mean extra outlay of funds for the business; this can be very time consuming.

  • Businesses may find that they have to shut down as they are in competition with other businesses who do not have skills shortages and find it difficult to keep up.

Northern Ireland needs to be a highly skilled population so that the economy can continue to grow, so that enterprise can be encouraged and so that global companies can be attracted to invest and set up their companies there.

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