Government of Ireland
Regional Skills

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National Skills Council meet with OECD

19 October 2022 

National Skills Council meet with OECD on plans to drive Ireland’s ambition for skills and talent and announce roadshow across the country

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD has encouraged businesses, employers, individuals, community groups, education and learning providers, and all stakeholders, to have their say on the future of skills and talent in Ireland, ahead of today’s meeting of the National Skills Council.

The OECD is currently examining Ireland’s skills strategies to address skills shortages in Ireland and prepare us for future global shocks. Today, the OECD will meet with the Skills Council with a view to finalising its recommendations, and will travel the country over the next two weeks meeting with businesses and educators on the next steps forward.

Speaking at the meeting, Minister Harris said: “Ireland emerged from the pandemic in a robust manner, but with the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, international tax changes, and soaring energy prices creating a cost-of-living crisis, never has it been more important that Ireland maintains our global advantage, with our people as our best asset and a future facing skills agenda at the core of Ireland’s response to these challenges. We need to ensure that Ireland's skills system stands as a central and effective enabler for Ireland’s competitiveness and economic and social sustainability while we accelerate digitalisation and the transition towards a climate-neutral economy. That requires us all and over the next two weeks, the OECD will be going across the country to hear from enterprises on the ground about what you need. Our door is open and the OECD wants to hear from you on how we can improve our workforce and become more resilient in the face of great change.”

Areas of focus emerging from the Project include the need to work towards more dynamic, granular data, to inform how we respond effectively and rapidly to skills needs; the need to continue to expand short, flexible and blended skilling options for people entering and transitioning through the workforce; our ambition to further support and enable individualised, continuous learning journeys through the workplace and lifecycle, through a progressive and dynamic tertiary education and training system, and more.

Minister for Skills and Further Education Niall Collins added: “The future wellbeing of our skills ecosystem and its ability to continue to provide sustainable development for individuals, enterprises, and our economy and society both regionally and nationally will be shaped now. This is the final moment to engage.‘’

Andrew Bell from the OECD Centre for Skills added: “The discussions that we will have in the meetings and several workshops in the upcoming weeks, will be very important for the development of policy recommendations that truly reflect the needs of Ireland. The levels of engagement that we have seen so far show a lot of willingness and commitment to further strengthen the skills system in Ireland, and it makes us optimistic about its future.”

Additionally, the National Skills Bulletin 2022, published today, provides rich data on labour market trends which will help drive forward our response to priority skills needs. Everyone is encouraged to engage in Ireland’s OECD Skills project here:

@DeptofFHed @OECDEduSkills