It’s important that we work together to break down barriers faced by young people this Tech Week.

Tech Week is Ireland’s festival dedicated to celebrating tech careers, the rewarding opportunities in the sector, advances in technology, and digital skills. During the week hundreds of events will run nationwide that promote the sector to young people and their key influencers. Annually coordinated by the Irish Computer Society and supported by Amazon Web Services and Science Foundation Ireland, the celebration will take place from March 28 – April 03 in businesses, third level institutions, schools, museums and libraries nationwide.

According to the European Commission, Ireland has 12,000 unfilled ICT jobs. Currently there are not enough students coming out with the skills to match the growing Irish economy.

Although record numbers of students have chosen STEM subjects on their CAO applications this year, Ireland is still falling behind the European average, especially in the uptake by girls.

There is still a vast under representation of women in tech careers and campaigns like Tech Week are important to help tackle the gender divide issue. Commenting on the issue, CEO of the Irish Computer Society, Jim Friars has said “More girls should be encouraged to study STEM subjects at school and college, it’s time to break the gender stereotype, there will be a lot of tech roles to fill in Ireland in the coming years and we need to utilise this talent”  

In Ireland, there are roughly 117,800 people working in jobs that utilise STEM skills. The proportion of women employed in such roles hovers at less than 25%, according to the Central Statistics Office, Forfás, the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs has also said that Irish companies collectively will have an estimated 44,500 job openings for people with high-level information and communications technology (ICT) skills over the next six years. The risk that unless action is taken those openings will go unfilled.

Now in its 7th year, Tech Week will celebrate Irish technology and digital skills by providing a platform for young people and the general public to engage with tech through organising activities in their community that showcase the impact of technology on society.

The Irish Computer Society are championing three main focus days:

Health Tech, Tuesday March 31

Sport Tech, Thursday April 02

Green Tech, Friday April 03

The ICS Foundation are calling on organisations to get involved. Download your free resources, template classroom visit presentation, register your activities and view what events are happening in your local area via www.techweek.ie  

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References: ICS News, DESI

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