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European Year of Skills
News article4 April 2024Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion1 min read

Working in Partnership on Skills Policy Development

Development of skills policy doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Or at least, it shouldn’t. Skills Policy should be developed in partnership with the people it affects. Partnership is at the centre of our Skills Policy development in Ireland. This article is part of the National Coordinators article series.  

Vector logo of Skillnet Ireland

Under Ireland’s National Skills Strategy formal partnership platforms were established for the first time - the National Skills Council and the Regional Skills Fora. 

These structures are recognised internationally as innovative platforms for partnership. 

In addition, Ireland also has a model of business led partnership that is unique in Skillnet Ireland: Transforming Business Through Talent - Skillnet Ireland Homepage 

Skillnet Ireland plays a key role in supplying skills to the Irish workforce by collaborating with enterprise and agencies to develop new innovative programmes that address both current and future skill needs.  

Skillnet Ireland programmes include:   

  • Skillnet Business Networks where over 70 Skillnet Business Networks offer a wide range of upskilling programmes designed to address talent gaps and build competencies for today’s business challenges.  

  • Climate Ready, which equips businesses with the practical skills, and knowledge they need across a range of critical areas to prepare for this change, delivering real results for the economy, workforce and climate.  

  • Skills Connect, which helps businesses, meet emerging talent needs.  

  • MentorsWork, which offers a flexible expert business-mentoring programme for SME business owners and managers. 

Ireland emerges as a stalwart in their collaborative partnership strategy.  

Nonetheless, recent OECD assessments suggest opportunities for further enhancement, thus crystallizing their focus for the Year of Skills ahead. As part of Ireland’s strategic agenda, they are embarking on revitalizing the National Skills Council, aiming for a more inclusive representation encompassing voices from both enterprise sectors and social partners. This strategic move anticipates a more comprehensive and diversified outlook on the trajectory of skills policy, aligning with their commitment to fostering a dynamic and responsive approach to skill development initiatives. 

Because policy development doesn’t and shouldn’t happen in a vacuum.   

Skills are vital to our social and economic cohesion and only by working together can we achieve those goals.