Education Level

There are over one million people currently in full-time education in Ireland. These are engaged in three levels of education: primary education (up to 12 years); secondary education (12-18 years); and third-level education (18+ years).

  • Ireland has one of the most educated workforces in the world. The share of 30-34 year olds in Ireland with a third level qualification is 53.5%, compared to an EU average of 40%.
  • In 2017/2018 over 220,000 students enrolled in third level courses across Ireland’s universities and colleges.
  • Over 30% of students enrolled in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) courses


Ireland is implementing a comprehensive and forward looking National Skills Strategy and Action Plan for Education, which aims to make Irish education and training the best in Europe by 2026.

Increasing number of Technology Graduates

The Government’s Technology Skills Action Plan (2014-2018), aims to maintain Ireland’s position as a global leader for technology talent and skills.

This will be achieved through a number of measures one being the issuance of up to 2,000 employment permits per year to experienced technology professionals with skills in high demand. In addition to this through the Tech Life Initiative, the government plan to increase the number of people working in tech in Ireland by 3,000 per year. Log on to for more information.

Skillnet Ireland

Skillnet Ireland aims to increase participation in enterprise training by companies. It currently supports over 15,000 companies and provides learning experiences to over 50,000 trainees

Find out more at 

Springboard Programme

Springboard+ provides free higher education courses in areas of identified skills needs to unemployed people, those previously self-employed and those turning to work.

For more Information see

Ireland’s Ecosystem for Diversity in STEM

Ireland’s Ecosystem for Diversity in STEM

An overview of the programmes and initiatives which attract, retain and promote diversity in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Download Ireland’s Ecosystem for Diversity in STEM

Multilingual Skills

There are more than 535,000 non-Irish nationals living in Ireland, with persons born abroad accounting for just over 17% of the country’s population. 

12 nations – Brazil, France, Germany, India, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Spain, the UK and the U.S – account for 74% of the non-national population.

There were 347,233 non-Irish nationals in the labour force when the latest census was conducted in 2016.

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