Chinese educational qualifications are to be recognised in Ireland by the end of this year.

Séamus Puirseil, chief executive of the Higher Education and Training Awards Council (HETAC) made the announcement at a conference in Dublin.

'When we invite people to work in Ireland, we have a moral and legal obligation to recognise their qualifications,' he said.

HETAC says the move should open up the Irish employment market to qualified Chinese workers and should bring benefits to employers and the economy.

The council is the national awarding body for higher education and training awards outside the university sector. HETAC also sets standards, accredits, monitors and evaluates quality assurance in higher education programmes.