Labour Market

This Task Group monitors and presents up to date and relevant information about the labour market and reports on trends and patterns in graduate recruitment and employment.

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Labour Market2019-06-20T07:56:47+00:00

This Labour Market Task Group Task Group monitors and presents up to date and relevant information about the labour market and reports on trends and patterns in graduate recruitment and employment. The group also aims to create and sustain links with graduate employers and in doing so create a forum for discussion and exchange of information and ideas to the benefit of all parties involved – employers, academics, student and careers professionals. The group is also involved in the provision of Labour market training events for AHECS members.

2018 Highlights


  • An SME’s Guide to Recruiting Students and Graduates
  • A Students Guide to Starting Your Career with an SME

National Symposium: Innovations in the Third Level and Employer Partnerships

Highlights for 2018 include the AHECS Labour Market Task Group Symposium “Innovations in Third Level and Employer Partnerships”. (Please link to pictures of invite). This showcased 6 recent examples of the third level and employer collaborations replicable across all HEIs looking at the benefits, challenges, and impact of each initiative.

Keynote speaker Rebecca Fielding, Managing Director GradConsult UK explored internationally how third level institutions and employers are working together around employability’

Showcased collaborations included:

  • Waterford IT and Jameson
  • UCC and Musgrave
  • Galway Mayo IT and Analog Devices
  • National College of Ireland and Hays
  • Specialist Recruitment
  • UCD and Ireland China Business Association
  • Enterprise Rent a Car across a number of HEIs

Photos from the event are available to download

Press Release

2017 Highlights:

National Symposium: Looking Forward: SMEs, Start-ups, and Entrepreneurship

This national event hosted by AHECS was moderated by entrepreneur, businessman and Dragon’s Den presenter Gavin Duffy and brought together industry experts, SME owners and directors, and higher education careers services for three panel-led discussions.

Industry Panel:

  • Paul Healy, Chief Executive, Skillnets
  • Patricia Callan, Director SFA;
  • Liz Carroll, Training and Development Manager ISME;
  • Natasha Kinsella, Regional Skills Forum Dublin Regional Skills Manager;
  • Dr. Ruaidhrí Neavyn, HEA Adviser on Higher Education Policy;
  • Bertie Kelly, National College of Ireland Commercial & Business Incubation Manager;
  • Gavin Davidson, DIT Hothouse New Frontiers Project Manager;
  • Lorraine Greene, AIB SME Market Engagement Manager;
  • Tom Early, Enterprise Ireland HPSU Start Department Manager

SME Panel:

  • Dr. John Breslin, NUI Galway,,,
  • Galway Innovation District – Senior Lecturer and Entrepreneur;
  • Mark Kellett, Magnet Networks CEO;
  • Paddy O’Connell, Paddy O’s Cereals Founder;
  • Greg Canty, Fuzion Communications Managing Partner;
  • Michael O’Dwyer, SwiftComply CEO;
  • Sarah Martin, MamaBud CEO & Founder;
  • Lorraine Bowen, Entrepreneurs Academy Head of Business Development

Entrepreneurs Panel:

  • Cathal O’Sullivan,;
  • Edel Browne, Free Feet;
  • Josh Chao, PathoStrips;
  • Luke Mackey, Bamboo;
  • Devan Hughes, Buymie;
  • Finn Murphy, Idly System;
  • Johnny Deane, MatchDay

Download the 2017 Press Release –

Pictures from the event are available to download –
The group released the AHECS Graduate Recruitment & Employability Survey 2013 on 30th April 2014. This survey examines trends in graduate recruitment, employer sentiment for 2014, salary trends and key employability issues for graduates and employers.

2016 Highlights:

AHCES Graduate Employability and the Future of work

Industry Panel Discussion chaired by Matt Cooper

  • IBEC-Tony Donohoe, Head of Social Education & Policy
  • SFA-Patricia Callan, Director
  • IDA-Brendan Mc Donagh, Director of Strategic Policy
  • AHEAD-Ann Heelan, Executive Director
  • Guidewire-Ian Doyle Consulting Manager
  • Enterprise Ireland-Mr. Mark Christal, Manager, Client Management Development and Skills

Graduate Recruitment Panel chaired by Matt Cooper

  • KPMG- Paul Vance, Head of Resourcing at KPMG
  • HedgeServ – Deirdre O’Donoghue, HR Director
  • PMGroup- Nadine Grogan, HR
  • Enterprise Rent-a-Car- Leslee O’Loughlin, Group Human Resources Manager, Republic of Ireland
  • Pfizer-Dr Nick Sweeney, Global CMC Manager
  • Musgrave-Siobháin Scanlon, Graduate Programme Officer
  • CPL Peter Cosgrove- Director CPL, Founder Future of Work Institute
  • Guidewire- Denise Airlie, Recruiting Manager EMEA

Pictures from the event are available to download –
2015 Highlights

IT Related Videos

  • Graduate IT Skills Deficit – Guidewire, AOL

Agile skills, Research, Implement your final year project in an agile way, code maintainability, clean code

  • IT Telephone interviews and Code Tests-Guidewire, AOL

Length of a technical phone interview, course, final year project, subjects you like, GitHub repositories, code test, problem-solving ability, base technical skills. Agile development environment explained – product owner, iterative drops of the software, online assessment

  • Graduate Technical CVs-AOL, Guidewire
Github, projects, extra-curricular interests, open source projects, stack overflow

  • Whiteboard interviews explained -Guidewire, AOL

Technical and analytical skills, the architecture of the code or a problem they solved, understand the train of thought, explaining complicated concepts

Careers Fairs

  • Making the most of Careers Fair – Hedgeserv, Aryzta, KPMG, IBEC Global graduates, Jameson, Guidewire, Engineers Ireland, Car Trawler, Enterprise
  • Rent a Car, Glanbia, Accenture, AOL, Musgrave

Why companies attend, talking to employers, prepare your questions, CV, asking questions, learn about the role, making an informed choice, getting advice, following up afterward

Online Presence

  • Graduates – The importance of an online presence – Guidewire, Glanbia, Jameson, Accenture
Involvement in community, GitHub community, following their passions, building connections, social networks are a huge resource, LinkedIn, follow up after presentations, tweeting recruiters, being active on social media, engaging in the business and technology world

CVs & Application Forms

  • Tips for effective Graduate CVs – Hedgeserv, Engineers Ireland, Jameson, Musgrave, CPL, Citi

Well-structured 2- 2.5 page CV, Simple, Well laid out, use the language in the job spec, selling your language skills, Tailoring your CV to maximize the relevant information, Check, Overall package – education, skills set, work experience.

  • Completing Graduate Application Forms: KPMG, IBEC Global Graduates, Glanbia, Aryzta, Accenture, KPMG

The volume of applications, targeting the application form, researching the company, wow factor, what is your value add, career motivation, tailoring applications.

Interviewing / Assessment Centres

  • Competency-Based Interviews – ESB, KPMG, Musgrave, Citi, Glanbia, Engineers Ireland

Examine all areas of your experience, all your experience is valid, CARL – Circumstances, Action, Results, Learning; focusing on your contributions, Using the STAR framework, SIR – Significant Impact Result

  • Questions to ask at the end of the interview- Guidewire, Musgrave, Accenture, CPL, ESB, Car Trawler, Engineers Ireland

What would I expect to be doing in the first few months, opportunity to learn more about the company, shows an interest in the job, ask about us and the work we are doing, asking about those who have been successful – what made them successful, if your questions have been answered, insight into culture, 1 2 way street- need to make sure it is the right opportunity for you

  • Succeeding at telephone interviews- Enterprise Rent a Car, CPL, Guidewire

Phone manner, know their CV/application form, career goals, don’t say yes if it’s not a good time to talk, why did they apply to this role, why this company, environment, take notes, asking questions at the end

Do it in your own time, timeframes, one chance, preparation, presentation, environment, language tests through video interviews, no biofeedback, practice.

  • Group Activity in Assessment Centres – Enterprise Rent a Car, Jameson, Aryzta, Car Trawler, Musgrave.

Put yourself forward, sharing ideas, listening, clear communicators, group dynamics, getting trapped in a role, summarising, collaborating, contributing

Developing Skills

  • The importance of extra-curricular activities for students/graduates. Jameson, Musgrave, KPMG, IBEC Global Graduates, AOL, CPL

Enactus, Differentiate yourself, Drawing competencies from extracurricular activities, values, wider campus life, societies, volunteering, Erasmus

  • The importance of work experience for students and graduates– Engineers Ireland, Guidewire, Glanbia, Aryzta, Musgrave, KPMG, AOL, Citi
  • Skills Deficits in graduates- Hedgesev, Jameson, Aryzta, IBEC Global Graduates,

PC Skills, Excel, digitally savvy, overinflating competence, language skills


View All Resources Developed By This Task Group

Task Group Members

Angela Collins

Head of Careers and Careers Advisor & Co Chair of Ahecs Professional Development Task Group

+353 (0)51 302038

Bridie Killoran

Careers Officer, Head of Service

+353 91 742778

Caroline Kennedy

Careers and Opportunities Officer

01-4498 526

Catherine Lyster

Careers Officer/Head of Service

+35374 9186812

Paula Murray

Placement Officer / Head of Placement & Co-Chair Ahecs Labour Market Task Group

(01) 7083457

Treasa Morgan

Careers Officer & Co-Chair AHECS Labour Market Task Group

021 4335774

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