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12th Oct 2010: AmCham welcomes Bonus Points for Maths

American Chamber welcomes Bonus Points for Maths

12th October 2010: The American Chamber of Commerce in Ireland has welcomed the announcement by the Irish Universities Association to introduce bonus points for students studying higher level maths in the leaving certificate, a measure on which the Chamber has campaigned  in recent years.

Commenting on the decision, Ms Joanne Richardson, Chief Executive of the American Chamber of Commerce in Ireland said; "We must do everything to develop a high skilled labour force and encouraging students to take the subjects that support this is a significant step.  This initiative coincides with the National rollout of Project Maths, starting this academic year, and both are examples of the type of innovation in the Education system that the Chamber has been calling for."

"However, encouraging students to study higher level maths is only one part of the equation.  We now need to see these students continue their studies at third level in engineering, science and ICT subjects and third level institutions need to look at the attractiveness of these courses to students.

"Furthermore, we need to ensure investment is maintained so that Ireland's education system is comparable with the world leaders.  Investment and enhanced productivity across the entire education system is required if we are to maintain confidence in the talent of future generations to meet the demands of the global economy.

"The education system is not without its significant strengths and Ireland's skilled talent base is a key attraction for companies deciding to locate operations here. Ultimately, what we need is an education system which is based on developing student's ‘thinking skills' throughout the education system - primary, secondary and third level - so that they can apply their knowledge in the real world in a way which delivers results".

Ends.

About the American Chamber of Commerce in Ireland  Today, almost 100,000 people are directly employed[i] in over 600 US firms in Ireland[ii] accounting for 70% of all IDA supported employment[iii]..  The IDA announced 130 new and expansion projects with companies during 2008[v]. Almost two out of every three foreign direct investment projects coming to Ireland in 2008 have originated from the US. In 2008, US firms paid over €2.5b to the Irish Exchequer in Corporate Tax (or approx 40% of total corporate tax take in 2008[vi]) and contributed a further €13b in expenditure to the Irish economy in terms of payrolls, goods and services employed in their operations[vii].

For reference:  Laurie Mannix, MKC Communications 01 703 8620.

 [i] Source: IDA Jan 2009 from a Forfas Employment Survey, plus an estimated 6,000 working in non-grant aided US businesses  in Ireland.

[ii] American Chamber Database

[iii] IDA Annual Report 2007

[v] From IDA Press office based on the IDA's Annual Report

[vi] Amcham estimate based on IDA End of Year Statement 2008, issued Jan 2009 at 85% of total.

[vii]. Based on the 2007 Annual Business Survey of Economic Impact, and an American Chamber estimate of approximately 80% of total agency assisted firms being of US origin.