An agency set up to address a skills deficit in marketing graduates has claimed that third-level marketing courses here are failing the country's tech sector.

The Digital Marketing Institute claims the system is turning out "unemployable" graduates without basic IT marketing skills.

The institute's Ian Dodson said that 100% of marketing jobs now involve digital marketing, but that just 10% of third level graduates have those skills.

Digital marketing is the use of the internet to promote business.

"The basics of digital literacy are using things like Microsoft Office, but that's what we're teaching in second-level schools," Mr Dodson said.

"Unfortunately, third level students are coming out, not just with poor digital literacy in Office applications, but with woeful levels of literacy when it comes to using the more modern tools and technologies, like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, to promote and market business," he added.

The Digital Marketing Institute was set up by the Irish Digital Industry to remedy problems in education.

Mr Dodson says that in the last two years it has trained nearly 2,000 people, one third of whom had previously studied marketing at university.

When these students were asked how much their previous third level courses dealt with digital marketing, the average reply was between 5% and 10%.