19th August 2023

Chambers Ireland Skills Gap Study identifies skills gaps across many operational areas

SMEs struggle to find talent with skills gaps across many operational areas. 

The Chambers Ireland SME Skills Gap survey has found that almost nine out of ten respondents are facing significant challenges recruiting essential employees with sufficient skills and qualifications.

Chambers Ireland carried out the survey in advance of the government’s consultation on critical skills and employment permits which closes today 18 August 2023.

With over 400 respondents, 95% of micro-businesses that responded were experiencing skills gaps. Over half of small businesses have found customer facing roles challenging to fill, while for two-thirds of medium-sized enterprises, management positions are the most difficult to recruit for.

Chambers Ireland’s Chief Executive, Ian Talbot, said, “Businesses across the country are facing severe challenges in recruiting qualified employees. This is having an enormous impact on their ability to grow and increase trade.

“While it is beyond the scope of the employment lists review, our members are calling on government to simplify the permitting and visa process. There should be a single application process for both, and we need fewer, broader permits, not new classes of them.

”Chambers Ireland greatly welcomes the increased resources that the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment have allocated to permits, but this needs to be coordinated with quicker, more flexible visa processing within the Department of Justice.

“Across our economy we see that our infrastructure and services are struggling to meet demand. To build the extra capacity we need, we have to make Ireland an easier place to come to work. We are no longer as attractive a place to migrate to as we used to be, and we must make sure that bureaucratic processes are not putting up extra barriers to attracting talent. Government must be diligent in delivering on non-complex matters such as this that are completely within its control to deliver without delay.”

Key Survey Findings

  • 95% of Micro business respondents have skills gaps
  • Micro businesses have skills gaps in:Technically Qualified Professions and Trades (53%)
    Administration (36%)
  • 85% of Small business respondents have skills gaps
  • Small businesses have skills gaps in:Customer Facing Roles (54%)
    Management (42%)
  • 78% of Medium business respondents have skills gaps
  • Medium businesses have skills gaps in: Management (66%)
    Customer Facing Roles (38%)
  • The majority of Small and Medium businesses have multiple areas where they have skills gaps

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