In building towards recovery, it must be recognised that not all previous jobs will return, while capacity constraints may emerge in other areas. Fundamentally, the Government’s labour market approach is about developing people and their potential through opportunities to reskill and upskill and supporting individuals to secure and remain in sustainable and quality employment. This will include supporting people to transition to new jobs in growing sectors of the economy.
We have a responsive national skills architecture, which monitors and identifies skills needs across the economy and informs provision for upskilling or reskilling across the education and training system. The Economic Recovery Plan published today outlines plans to further strengthen Ireland’s Skills Framework and architecture to ensure our skills approach is routed areas of opportunity and growth. This will include a comprehensive review of Ireland’s skills strategies and approaches, including the National Skills Strategy 2016-2025; developing a web-based “Skills Platform”, for upskilling and reskilling opportunities; and developing Ireland’s Pact for Skills, between businesses and government, to ensure those with low and no qualifications are not excluded from employment.
Upskilling and reskilling supports are delivered through a range of education and training programmes informed by this labour market and skills intelligence, which are funded through the National Training Fund. These include Skillnet Ireland, the Higher Education Authority’s Springboard+ programme, apprenticeships, and digital upskilling programmes. The National Training Fund is also supporting an annual €60 million investment in the Higher Education system, through the Human Capital Initiative.
Through the agencies and initiatives mentioned above my Department and the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science will continue to ensure that there is a successful alignment of education and reskilling opportunities with employment opportunities in growth and emerging sectors to enable transitioning and redeployment of workers displaced by Covid-19, and other disruptive trends and structural shifts accelerated by the pandemic.