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Tomorrow’s Skills: Towards a National Skills Strategy. Kay Hallahan Dublin Employment Pact Round Table Discussion 17 th May 2007. Contents. The report contains:. Ireland’s current skills performance

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tomorrow s skills towards a national skills strategy

Tomorrow’s Skills: Towards a National Skills Strategy

Kay HallahanDublin Employment Pact Round Table Discussion17th May 2007

the report contains


The report contains:
  • Ireland’s current skills performance
  • Ireland’s projected skills profile in 2020 based on no additional education and training supply
  • The projected skills needs of the economy out to 2020 from both a quantitative and qualitative perspective
  • A vision for the skills profile which will drive competitive advantage
current situation
Current Situation

Mixed story to date

  • In general, firms appear happy with the skills available
  • High percentage of the labour force with 3rd level qualifications but…
  • …high percentage with lower secondary education or below
  • Low levels of adult literacy
  • Poor participation in continuing education & training
  • Skills shortages evident in some sectors
  • Largely being filled through high skilled migration

Employment by Sector


increasing emphasis on generic skills
Increasing emphasis on Generic Skills
  • Basic or fundamental skills such as literacy, using numbers, using technology
  • People-related skills such as communication, interpersonal, team working, customer-service skills
  • Conceptual skills such as collecting and organising information, problem-solving, planning and organising, learning-to-learn skills, innovation and creativity, systems thinking
  • Needed not just for employability but also to function successfully as a citizen in a developed economy
within occupations
Within Occupations

There is likely to be demand for an:

    • Increasing Breadth of Knowledge
    • Increased Share of Knowledge Work / Reduced Share of Routine Work
    • Rising Qualification and Technical Skill Requirements
    • Importance of Continuing Learning
    • Significance of Regulation
    • Skills for Dealing with Others
  • Management Level Skills
  • Sales and Marketing Skills
  • Language Skills
  • R&D

Enterprise Skills

labour force in 2020 will be made up of

Labour force

Labour force in 2020 will be made up of


From the current labour force of 2m


Labour force



New flow of young people from the education system



Increased participation & Migration


Will skills profile in 2020 be sufficient?

The answer is NO!

  • Ireland will still lag behind similar countries in terms of percentage of the labour force with lower secondary education or below
  • Supply will not meet demand for skills in 2020. There will be shortages at third and fourth level and an oversupply of lower level skills
  • It is not desirable to have such a large number at or below lower secondary level
  • Skills have the potential to shape the economy of the future and contribute to productivity and innovation


  • The Expert Group proposes a vision of Ireland in 2020, possessing a well-educated and highly skilled population which contributes to a competitive, innovation-driven, knowledge-based, participative and inclusive economy.
  • Specifically, the Expert Group proposes that, by 2020
    • 48% of the labour force should have qualifications at NFQ Levels 6 to 10;
    • 45% should have qualifications at levels 4 & 5;
    • the remaining 7% will have qualifications at levels 1 to 3 by 2020; and
    • within this objective, Ireland should aim to build capability at fourth level and double its PhD output (Level 10) by 2013.

Upskilling the workforce

Within the current workforce, an additional 500,000 people need to be upskilled through either education or training

within the formal education system


Within the formal education system:
  • The retention rate to Leaving Certificate should reach 90% by 2020 (current rate 82%)
  • The progression rate from second to third level should increase to 72% by 2020 (current rate 55%)
  • In 2020, 94% of the population aged 20-24 should have a second level qualification (current rate 86%)

Increased participation

  • Increase participation in the labour force through higher levels of education and training
  • Immigrants need to be integrated into the education and training system at all levels
  • English language supports need to be put in place
  • The recognition of international qualifications is key to maximising the contribution of immigrant labour

Achieving the Objective

  • Education and training up to level 5 should be funded by Government for those currently without qualifications at this level.
  • Education and training from level 6-10 should be funded in a tri-partite arrangement between employers, employees and Government.
  • Broad estimates place the cost of the proposed additional upskilling to levels 3, 4 and 5 at €133 million per annum. The cost of upskilling at the higher levels 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 is estimated at €263 million per annum.
  • Move towards funding of individuals and enterprise rather than providers.

Tomorrow’s Skills: Towards a National Skills Strategy

is available online at:

To request a hardcopy of the report: Phone (01) 6073116 or Email