Wednesday, 13 May 2020

Questions (445)

Gerald Nash


445. Deputy Ged Nash asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation her views on the recent report number 19 by the NESC; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [5474/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Business)

I welcome the publication of NESC’s report on vulnerable employment and Just Transition last month. The report is an insightful and interesting piece of work which my Department actively contributed to during its development.

The vision of the report is to ensure that Ireland, in the face of economic changes, is a resilient, sustainable, thriving net zero economy that uses innovation and collective preparedness to shape the future that we all want to achieve. The goals outlined in the report, such as encouraging the State to drive the creation of a high-quality jobs economy and proactively addressing employment vulnerability, are fundamental aspects of the work that we do in my Department.

My Department is reviewing the report and its recommendations in detail for a national approach to achieving a Just Transition, both in the shifts toward increased digitalisation and a low carbon economy. I believe that it will be important to ensure that any national approach to transition is closely connected to the regions and the communities affected. As such, my Department has already engaged with the Just Transition Commissioner for the Midlands both directly and through the agencies and offices in the Midlands.

My Department is already engaged in a number of the activities outlined in the report as being key drivers of the response to Just Transition. In particular, the work that this Department has done to date on building resilient enterprises and advocating for continuous pre-emptive workforce development, will aid smoother transitions in the future. In addition, both embracing innovation and technological change and transitioning to a low carbon economy were key pillars of Future Jobs 2019 and progress was achieved on a number of ambitions and deliverables in these areas. The challenge ahead will be to build on this work to aid the transition to increasingly digitalised and low carbon economy.