New National Skills Council Launched

The Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton, and the Minister of State for Training and Skills, John Halligan, have launched the National Skills Council, which aims to make Ireland a leader in anticipating and responding to the rapidly changing skills needs across all sectors.

The council, which was launched at Accenture 'The Dock', will be chaired by Minister Bruton, and nine Regional Skills Fora.

The announcement fulfils a key action in the Government's Action Plan for Education, which aims to make the Irish education and training service the best in Europe within a decade,

The Minister for Education and Skills will chair the National Skills Council, the members of which have been drawn from senior levels in the public and private sector. The Minister is also due to nominate a person from the SME sector to sit on the Council.

Minister Bruton said: "Today we are facing the possibility of major changes in the relationships we have with our key trading partners, including the UK and the USA. We have to adopt the best policies to fortify us for the challenges which lie ahead, and ensure that we can nurture, develop and retain talent.

"Today I am launching the National Skills Council (NSC) which will make Ireland a leader in anticipating and responding to the rapidly changing need for talent and skills across all sectors.

"The National Skills Council, together with nine Regional Skills Fora, will ensure that we can identify, prioritise and address the existing and future skills needs of our economy and society. Each Regional Skills Forum will have a key role to play in delivering economic growth and driving regional development. That is why each forum will work closely with the enterprise base in each region, together with IDA, Enterprise Ireland, and the Local Enterprise Offices.

"Today's announcement also fulfils a key commitment in the Action Plan for Education, which aims to make our education and training service the best in Europe within a decade.

"As Chair of the Council, I look forward to working with the other members of the council, who all bring a vast experience and knowledge, to ensure that we can provide the skilled workforce necessary to ensure the future competitiveness and strength of our economy.

"To remain competitive in an increasingly interconnected world, the workforce has to be equipped with the skills for the jobs of tomorrow. We have to ensure that people are equipped with the skills and competences needed to play an active role in society."

Minister Halligan added: "That the early indications from enterprise and education and training providers on the work of the nine Regional Skills Fora and the Fora Managers are very positive.

"The work of each Regional Skills Forum and each Forum Manager will have a major impact at regional level by bringing together the key stakeholders in each region to identify existing and emerging specific skills needs and develop swift responses to these skills needs in each of the nine regions. This work will be vital in ensuring that our economy thrives at regional as well as at national level and that sustainable jobs are created right across the country."


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