Business and Government Need To Take Employment More Seriously

Rather than exploiting people for personal gain, employers and authorities need to put more of a value on talent

In the past, most jobs in Ireland were long-term, secure and pensionable. The jobs that are available today in Ireland, and around the world for that matter, are far from secure and a pension is typically unheard of. With catch phrases such as employment mobility and better knowledge transfer, these jobs are promoted as positive in nature by employers. Greater choices of jobs are a positive thing but in the current economy the range or variety of jobs are not abundant enough to make mobile employment work and the result is uncertainty and insecurity.

The job market in Ireland has swung from one extreme to the other with no attempt at balance. The result is a generation or more of young people struggling to find work of any kind, regardless of their qualifications. Many workers are finding themselves in a position where they have to do more work for less money in a market with so much demand a so little supply. Graduates are desperate for experience and employers are holding all the cards. The line between honest work and being outright exploited is growing thin.

County councilor from Offaly, and senior member of the Irish delegation on the Committee of the Regions, Connie Hanniffy says, “We’re missing the very people we need to get at,” speaking in reference to more funding for skills and jobs. “We need to be getting to people with traditions of unemployment in their family and their community and provide schemes for those that haven’t had the direction. We need to engage with many people on a partnership basis.”

Hanniffy says the future prosperity the country has will be determined by how serious business and government are about building an infrastructure where individual talent has a value. “It’s up to colleges and universities not to try and pack courses, to provide balance and offer different boxes. I think this is what has been wrong in the past,” she says.

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