Sunday, 28 December 2008

Google searches abroad for recruits

You’ve heard it countless times, I’m sure – how great the Irish education system is. And you know, if you repeat something often enough, people will actually start believing it.

This particular assertion, however, might be contested with some vehemence by those who have managed to survive our educational system with their wits intact. Certainly the idea does not tally up with this writer’s recollections of an Irish schooling, which abounds with unhappy recollections of duster-dodging, violence, intimidation, and God-awful bad teaching.

Now it seems that Google are drawing the same conclusion. The search-engine supremo has abandoned plans for up to 100 software engineering jobs in Ireland because it can’t find the requisite highly-qualified staff here. Instead the positions have gone to Poland, Norway and Switzerland.

What’s more, the head of its Dublin-based headquarters went so far as to describe the current dearth as a result of the “dumbing down” of our education system. All this is according to last week’s Sunday Business Post, by the way, which is only finding its way onto Gombeen Nation today, due to excess alcohol consumption over the holiday.

It’s ironic that the Government tries to sell us as a nation of web-savvy gurus, despite large swathes of our loveable little land not even having broadband. It’s ironic too, that the education system is continuing to fail today, just as it has in the past. And when you throw extra points for subjects done through Irish into the mix, it’s no wonder that we are going backwards, just as the multinationals are looking outwards.

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