Irish recruitment website, Jobs.ie warned this week of potential skill shortage for roles requiring workers with a second language following a decline in CAO points required for modern language courses.
Of the total language roles posted on the Jobs.ie website since the beginning of 2019, 29% of those require workers with the ability to communicate in German, followed by French (22%), Dutch (13%), Italian (6%), and Spanish (6%).
A rise can be seen in the number of jobs requiring non-European languages, such as Korean (+2,050% on 2018) and Chinese (+40% on 2018). Jobs requiring a foreign language competency made up almost 4% of total job postings on the site.
The recent CAO results charted a decline in the points required for language courses, with UCD seeing points drop across its Modern Languages and Global Languages courses by 12 and 59 points respectively. Points for Applied Languages in UL also decreased, falling from 430 to 404.
Jobs.ie say Ireland has enjoyed the luxury of being an English-speaking country in a world where English has been the primary international language of communication. However, with the UK set to leave the EU in October, Ireland's relationships with non-English speaking countries is growing.
Jobs.ie say Ireland is seeing an influx of international companies setting up European or EMEA headquarters in Ireland. The demand for bilingual workers remains high, particularly in customer service and sales roles.
The jobs experts say Ireland already lags behind the rest of Europe in terms of foreign language learning and that without a strong pipeline of language graduates, Ireland faces a serious skills shortage in this area. Jobs.ie warns that this shortage could result in businesses looking further afield to fill positions, or possibly having to relocate to find a talent pool with the appropriate skillset.
Commenting on the data, General Manager of Jobs.ie, Chris Paye said, "Foreign language skills are an essential criterion for employers looking to fill positions that may involve interaction with international customers or stakeholders. In today’s competitive jobs market, an extra language competency can often be the key differentiator between you and another eligible candidate when applying for a role."
He added, "Equally, workers with a language skillset are an invaluable asset to Irish businesses that wish to expand outside of Ireland or access new markets. Employees that present with these skills can reap the benefits of the career development that this offers."