Down District Councillor Dermot Curran,and the party’s local enterprise spokesperson, has spoken out following a report that the North of Ireland is the most successful region outside of London when measuring statistics in respect of inward investment.
Councillor Curran said: “In such difficult economic times it is encouraging to learn of the good work of Invest NI in terms of attracting new firms to set up business here.
“The emphasis has been on software companies setting up shop here in the North. This is excellent news. However, more must be done by the local universities to assist. We already have a skill shortage in the IT sector so it is time that the universities channelled their places to match the growing demand.
“We are still seeing hundreds of young adults leaving our local universities with degrees in law however as many of them know the competition for jobs is phenomenal. Not only is this very disheartening for the graduates concerned but it is also bad news for our economy as these highly intelligent individuals end up going overseas in search of work.
“I firmly believe that the universities should be working closer with Invest NI and offering more university places in line with the upcoming demand, which is currently in the world of IT.
“I have been in discussions with a successful recruitment agency and have learnt firsthand of the number of vacancies still waiting to be filled within IT. This is hard to be believed given the regular reports of the growing ranks of unemployed – especially here in Downpatrick. It is clear that this skill shortage needs to be addressed and addressed quickly.“