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John o connor

John O’Connor

John O’Connor has worked as a Development Officer with the National Qualifications Authority of Ireland (NQAI) since March 2008. The principal function of the NQAI is to develop a framework of qualifications for the recognition and award of qualifications in the State based on standards of knowledge, skill or competence to be acquired by learners. Related to this the NQAI has the function of establishing the policies and criteria on which the framework of qualifications are based.

John is Ireland’s representative on the European Occupations, Skills Competence and Qualifications (ESCO) Committee and is a member of the National Skills Database Steering Group which provides skills and labour market to the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs (EGFSN). Before joining the NQAI, John worked for fifteen years as a lecturer and as an administrator in the independent higher education sector in Dublin.

Heca conference 20 april 2012 john o connor nqai

Employment Agenda for Higher Education and Training

HECA Conference

20 April 2012

John O’Connor NQAI

Employment agenda
Employment Agenda

  • Policy Context

  • Policy Levers

  • Towards a skills strategy

  • Lessons from practice

  • Challenges

Policy context
Policy Context

  • Action Plan for Jobs 2012

  • National Higher Education Strategy to 2030

  • National Skills Strategy

  • EU 2020 ‘New Skills for New Jobs’

  • Bologna Process

  • OECD Skills Strategy

  • Internationalisation – Skills mobility

  • Unemployment - 14.3%

John o connor

Policy Levers

Reform of Qualifications System – NFQ

European transparency instruments – EQF, Europass, Validation, Credit, ESCO

Quality assurance

Data and Research– Forfas, National Competitiveness Council, CSO, HEA, Eurostat. OECD etc.

Guidance community – brokers of labour market intelligence

John o connor

Towards a skills strategy

Identifying essential skills for the future

Understandings Skills Mismatches

Improve skills training for the unemployed

Strategy for skills financing – cost, access, equity and quality

Establish a common language for skills

Improve the measurement of Skills

John o connor

Evidence of ‘what works’

Education in Employment Project

Roadmap for Employment Academic Partnerships (REAP)

Evaluation of Labour Market Activation Fund 2010

OECD Review of VET in Ireland, 2010.

HETAC Guidelines on Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Education

Institutional practice


John o connor

Employment Agenda for Higher Education – Challenges


Quality and efficiency in learning provision

Flexibility in provision

Transferability of skills

Ease of access

Low cost of re-entry

Evidence of impact

Thank You