The former chairman of Intel, Craig Barrett, has told the Irish government that they will need to invest heavily in its educational system to ensure that blue chip companies such as Intel stay in Ireland.
Barrett said that emerging economies such as China, South America and India were modernizing their educational system and work force.
Speaking on RTE's Marian Finucane Show, Barrett said: "I don’t think Ireland has a choice. Ireland will return to a backwater of Europe and the world if it doesn’t. I think Ireland [needs to be] looking forward, looking ahead, these are the only directions it can move in."
Barrett said that the Irish government was relying far to heavily on reduced corporation taxes and said that the economy had to be more diverse.
Barrett also said that scientific and mathematical teaching had to improve.
"In the area of education Ireland was doing okay, not exceptionally. In the area of research and development Ireland was doing OK, not exceptionally. And if you wanted to be successful going forward, OK wasn’t good enough," he said.
Barrett also called for teaching standards to be improved and said that bad teachers had to be sacked. He also said that Ireland needed more enterprising Universities such as Stanford in the U.S.
"If you assume math and sciences are key capabilities for the future . . . and you are not doing a good job with education, young people in math and science you have a problem. That is why I told your Government leaders you are coasting. You are living off what you did 20 years ago," he said.
"The future of Ireland’s economy will be directly related to quality of workforce and the quality of Ireland's workforce will be dependent on education capability."