Ireland’s Skills Strategy is to be reviewed as part of a joint project between the state, stakeholders in the skills sector and the OECD.
The review, led by the OECD, will focus on how Ireland is equipped to meet current and future skills needs as well as examining how businesses and employees can be supported to engage in lifelong learning.
Representatives of the skills sector here, including the National Skills Council and Regional Skills Fora, will be centrally involved in the project.
Among the issues the review will focus on will be how the Higher Education and Further Education and Training and skills ecosystem can work together and respond to current and future labour market needs.
It will also examine means of strengthening a culture of lifelong learning and how skills can drive innovation.
The project is being launched in Paris today by the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Simon Harris, and OECD Secretary General, Mathias Cormann.
“The pandemic has accelerated changes to the way we live and work. Unfortunately, it has also seen many people lose their jobs,” Minister Harris said.
“Ireland has placed a central focus on talent and skills policies, including in our Economic Recovery Plan, launched earlier this year. We have a well-developed system for the provision of skills,” Simon Harris said.
“We need to build on this, so those who lost their jobs can embark on new and sustainable careers, and so that people have the necessary skills to ensure society keeps up with the pace of change,” he added.
“Ireland, like other OECD member countries, is being profoundly transformed by the continuing impacts of global megatrends, including, automation, digitalisation, and climate change, as well as by the Covid-19 pandemic,” Mathias Cormann said.
“It is therefore essential that Ireland is ready to confront these challenges and seize the opportunities of the future by ensuring it has the right skills and uses these skills fully and effectively.”
The Minister has previously called for the college points system to be reviewed to recognise a wider range of student skills including life skills, work experience and apprenticeship modules.
He told a conference on senior cycle reform recently that universities would not get additional funding unless they broadened their routes to entry.
The current skills review is expected to take 12 to 15 months to complete.
It will culminate in the publication of a report in 2023.