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).

  • In 2015 over 265,000 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
  • Over 20% of students enrolled in Social Sciences, Business and Law Courses

Recent Highlights

Ireland’s strong focus on and investment in education and skills provides continuous results in order to further secure its reputation as a highly attractive location.

Government Initiatives

There has been significant investment in developing schemes to help boost Ireland’s education and skills base in order to maximise employment opportunities.

Jobs Plus Initiative

Training - The government supported Jobs plus Initiatives encourages and rewards employers who offer employment opportunities to the long term unemployed. This scheme offers up to €10,000 for a qualifying recruit payable on a monthly basis over a 2 year period. Registration is available online at

Increasing number of Technology Graduates

The Government’s technology skills action plan aims to make Ireland a global leader for technology talent and skills. The target is to meet 74% of forecast industry demand for high-level technology skills from the education system by 2018, up from the current level, estimated at over 60%.

In line with industry norms, it is envisaged that remaining demand will be met by continuing to attract highly skilled people from abroad. 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.

Springboard Programme

The Springboard Programme assists those unemployed to gain employment by retraining and acquiring new skills.Courses focus on IT, communication, international languages and international financial services. Almost 6,000 places across 36 higher education colleges providing 180 courses are available through this programme focussing on the areas of technology,green economy, biopharma sectors and others. For more Information see

Multilingual Skills

Ireland is the only English speaking country in the Eurozone and the ideal base from which to serve European markets. Over half a million Irish residents speak a foreign language fluently and c. 17% of the population is of  international origin.

Google's EU HQ in Dublin employs over 2,500 people from over 65 countries, speaking over 45 different languages.

Foreign Languages Spoken in Ireland
Language Number of People
Polish 119,526
French 56,430
Lithuanian 31,635
German 27,342
Spanish 22,446
Russian 21,640
Romanian 20,625
Italian 10,344
Chinese 15,166
Arabica 11,834
Other 177,080
Total 514,068
Source: CSO Census 2011, Foreign languages spoken at home

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