Written Answers. - Manpower Sub-Committee Report.

Thursday, 15 February 1979

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 311 No. 8

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Mr. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  asked the Minister for Labour the basis upon which a sub-committee of the Manpower Consultative Committee recently estimated the following shortages of skills; bricklayers (400), industrial pipefitters (150), plasterers (100) and sewing machinists (400); if he is satisfied that this list comprehends all skill shortages; if the report of the sub-committee is available to the public and, if not, why.

Minister for Labour (Mr. G. Fitzgerald): Information on Eugene Fitzgerald  Zoom on Eugene Fitzgerald  The sub-committee's estimates in relation to the industries referred to in paragraph 1.10 of the White Paper were based upon the information available to and experience of the organisations represented on the committee.

Other occupations in which demand currently exceeds supply were also identified by the sub-committee. These are as follows:

Occupations Estimated Shortage
Welders (Short Course) 100
Maintenance and Turner Fitters 200/250
Toolmakers 50
Mechanical and Electrical Draughtsmen 50
Electronic Technicians 200
Systems Analysts (not yet available)
Computer Programmers (not yet available)
Chemical Technologists 40
Electrical/Electronic Engineers 150/200
Mechanical/Production Engineers 200/300

[1432] For a number of reasons it is difficult to identify and quantify precisely skill or occupational shortages. I am, however, satisfied that this list is reasonably accurate and that it constitutes the best estimate available.

The report of the sub-committee has not yet been adopted by the committee and is still under consideration. It is not available to the public. The Deputy will appreciate that the premature release of a document like this could be damaging in that it could jeopardise the willingness of members of the committee to contribute freely to its work. In this connection, there is the point that some information of a confidential nature has been made available by members to the committee and it might not help if they could not be assured that such information would not be disclosed, at least prematurely.

The question of publication will be considered at the appropriate time.

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