Future Jobs Ireland launches aiming for long-term economic development

James Nolan

The initiative is the first in a series of annual reports which outlines the government’s longer-term ambition for economic development under five pillars.

The government recently launched the Future Jobs Ireland initiative with the aim of “preparing now for tomorrow’s economy.”

The initiative is the first in a series of annual reports which outlines the government’s longer-term ambition for economic development under five pillars.

The five pillars include; embracing innovation and technological change, improving SME (Small and Medium Enterprises) productivity, enhancing skills and developing and attracting talent, increasing participation to the workforce and transitioning to a low carbon economy.

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys, emphasised that the ultimate aim of Future Jobs Ireland was to focus on sustaining high-quality jobs.

“There are 390,000 more people at work since 2012. As we approach full employment, it is now time to shift our job focus. It’s no longer a question of more jobs, instead, we must focus on growing highly productive and skilled people creating and working in highly productive and sustainable businesses.”

“While Future Jobs Ireland is a national framework, it will have a regional impact.  We will enhance the powers of Local Enterprise Offices to ensure any gaps for indigenous businesses are addressed. We want to ensure that all businesses, regardless of size, are supported,” said Humphreys.

Future Jobs Ireland will aim to support Irish businesses, as well as investing in the development of people, aiming to make Irish workers more flexible and versatile in relation to the advancing changes in the workplace.

To aid with these developments, the report includes; a national consultation on the extension of flexible working options to all employees commencing a strategy for remote working, developing a public service to assist people returning to work, incentivising employers to provide early learning and care facilities, doubling participation in lifelong learning by 2025 and developing training for emerging technologies among other initiatives.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar complemented how far people have come in the last eight years, but stressed there was no room for complacency.

“I want Ireland to be a country where people work to live not live to work. Businesses need to consider new ways of attracting and retaining talent through remote and flexible working options, so that people in places like Cork don’t have to commute to Dublin to work for Facebook, Apple or Google.”

“By confronting head on the challenges we face in the world of work, we can ensure we are able to prosper from the transformations that are coming. We can face the future with confidence because of the preparations we have made today,” said Varadkar.

Future Jobs Ireland was informed by extensive engagement across Government Departments and with stakeholders, who will continue to collaborate to develop further deliverables for inclusion in Future Jobs Ireland 2020.

James Nolan

Image credit: dbei.gov.ie