By Gerard Walker
Ireland's current National 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 the nine 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 will consider elements such as how the Higher Education and Further Education and Training and skills ecosystem is balanced, joined up and responsive to current and future labour market needs; how to strengthen a culture of lifelong learning; and, how skills can drive innovation. This is against the continuing impacts of global megatrends, including, automation, digitalisation, and climate change, as well as by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Four overarching priority areas for the project have been identified. These are:
- Securing balance in skills through a responsive and diversified supply of skills
- Fostering greater participation in lifelong learning in and outside of the workplace
- Strengthening the governance across a joined-up skills ecosystem
- Leveraging skills to drive innovation and strengthen the performance of firms
The review will take 12 to 15 months to complete and will entail the following four phases:
- First Mission: Skills Strategy Seminar
- Second Mission: Assessment Workshops
- Third Mission: Recommendations Workshops
- Fourth Mission: Launch and publication of report
The Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science leads Ireland’s National Skills Strategy, working across Government via a cross-Departmental project team, and working through the primary skills infrastructures, the National Skills Council and nine Regional Skills Fora.
The OECD Skills Strategy Ireland: Assessment and Recommendations' report is due to be published in 2023.