A locally based US business representative has called for science to be made compulsory in schools until at least Junior Certifcate level, so students can capitalise on the growing opportunities in ICT, pharmaceuticals and medical technology.
Tom Mangan, general manager and vice president of operations at Boston Scientific Cork, was speaking in light of a study that has revealed 790 job vacancies in US multinationals across the southern region.
Mr Mangan, who chairs the American Chamber of Commerce in the southern region, made his call due to his concern that a proposal to ring-fence over half of all teaching hours for English, Irish and Maths could limit science tuition in schools.
Calling for a need for the country to “build on our strengths, Mr Mangan said: “A reduction in student access to science at junior cycle is likely to reduce the numbers in a position to consider it at the senior cycle, with a consequent impact for STEM (Science, Technology, Maths and Engineering) subject uptake at third level.”
The American Chamber of Commerce’s annual workforce activation survey shows that the 790 southern jobs are among over 2,500 positions available in US operations throughout Ireland.
Mr Mangan said major investments announced by US companies in the south this year had included announcements by Xilinx, Apple, Pepsi, Big Fish and Eli Lilly.
The survey showed that 45% of the jobs available in Ireland are outside Dublin, and 40% of the firms surveyed said they were advertising more vacant positions this year than last.