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Ireland. VET in Europe – Country Report 2011 - Europa

Ireland. VET in Europe – Country Report 2011 - Europa

Ireland’s unemployment rate is higher than the EU average at all ISCED levels, whichrepresents a dramatic reversal from 2006 when Irish unemployment rates for the 15-24 agegroup were lower than the EU average across ISCED levels. This pattern is repeated across theother two age categories (25-49 and 50-64), which serves to highlight the severity of the Irishunemployment crisis relative to the EU experience as a whole.TABLE 6. UNEMPLOYMENT RATES BY AGE GROUPS AND HIGHEST LEVEL OF EDUCATION ATTAINED (%),2003, 2006 AND 2010TIME 2003 2006 2010GEO ISCED/ AGE15-24 25-49 50-64 15-24 25-49 50-64 15-24 25-49 50-640-2 20.2 (i) 11.6 (i) 7.2 (i) 21.2 11.2 7.5 27.4 16.3 10.23-4 17.7 (i) 8.4 (i) 7.7 (i) 15.4 7.3 6.9 18.1 8.2 6.7EU-275-6 12.0 (i) 4.8 (i) 3.7 (i) 13.4 4.3 3.6 16.2 5.3 3.6NO A. 13.9 (i) 7.8 (i) 7.4 (i) 20.1 : : : 8.2 :TOTAL 18.0 (i) 8.3 (i) 6.6 (i) 17.2 7.3 6.3 20.8 8.9 6.90-2 14.3 7.6 3.8 15.7 7.1 3.7 44.9 24.7 13.03-4 6.9 3.0 : 7.2 3.4 2.3 (u) 26.3 15.3 8.2IE5-6 4.6 (u) 2.6 : 5.2 (u) 2.3 : 18.4 7.3 4.7NO A. : : : : : : : 15.0 :TOTAL 8.1 4.1 2.9 8.6 3.9 2.8 27.5 13.0 9.1Source: Eurostat (LFS); extracted on: 19-05-2011; last update: 12-05-2011. (u) Unreliable or uncertain data.Notes: (i) See explanatory text in Eurostat athttp://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/cache/ITY_SDDS/EN/lfsq_esms.htmThe economy has yet to recover from the recent recession largely due to the scale of the bankingand fiscal crises. And while our export sector seems to performing strongly again, further upwardrevisions in estimates of the scale of the banking crisis have taken place in recent months. Whencombined, short-term forecasts from the Central Bank, the Department of Finance and theEconomic and Social Research Institute point towards very modest GNP growth in the range of 0.0to 0.5% in 2011 followed by somewhat faster growth in the order of 2% in 2012. The improvementin 2011 is largely predicated on the belief that the recent recovery in our export sector will continuein 2012. While such a scenario would be welcome, a continued compositional shift towards theexport sector will not necessarily translate into a significant improvement in the labour market inthe short-term, given that this sector is relatively capital intensive. Perhaps of greater significance tothe short-term employment outlook will be the impact of the banking and fiscal crises on bothgovernment and private consumption. During the ‘boom-to-bust’ period there appeared to be littleor no lag-period between economic output and employment growth. This may be indicative of howdependent the economy was on labour-intensive sectors. It seems that the compositional shifttowards more capital-intensive sectors has led to the re-emergence of this lag period. If this proves10

to be the case over the forecast period, then it may be some time before we see any economic upturntranslated into a corresponding increase in employment.The employment impact of the retrenchment in both government and private consumption isexpected to be greatest in the services sector, with employment in the retail and public sectors likelyto be the worst affected.The percentage of public expenditure spent on secondary level education in Ireland has increasedfrom 1.64% in 2002 to 2.03% in 2007. While this is less than the 2.2% average for the EU27, therise over the period contrasts with the downward trend in the EU (Table 7).TABLE 7: TOTAL PUBLIC EXPENDITURE ON EDUCATION AS % OF GDP, AT SECONDARYLEVEL OF EDUCATION (ISCED 2-4), 2002-2008GEO 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008EU27 2.32 (s) 2.35 (s) 2.29 (s) 2.25 (s) 2.23 (s) 2.20 (s) :IE 1.64 1.73 2.02 2.04 2.00 2.03 :Source: Eurostat (UOE); extracted on: 19-05-2011.s Eurostat estimate1.4 Educational attainment of populationEducational attainment has risen significantly in Ireland over recent years at all levels of theeducation system. The EU ‘2010’ policy targets for education are that at least 85% of 22 year oldsin the EU should have completed upper secondary education and that the average rate for earlyschool leavers should be no more than 10%. With regard to early school leavers, the Eurostatfigures outlined below indicate that in Ireland, 11.3% of those aged 18-24 were defined as earlyschool leavers in 2009 i.e persons aged 18-24 with at most lower secondary education and not infurther education or training. (According to the Quarterly National Household Survey 5 (QNHS),December 2010, the numbers classified as early school leavers continued to decline to 10% in thesecond quarter of 2010). The number of early school leavers has decreased steadily from 14.6% in2002. The corresponding early school leaver figure for the EU 27 member states in 2009 is 14.4%.5Quarterly National Household Survey, Educational Attainment, Quarter 2 2000 to Quarter 2 2010, Central StatisticsOffice (CSO).11

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