Harris announces department partnership with ESRI

The three-year partnership will seek to address challenges and opportunities presented by shifts in the labour market

Simon Harris has announced a new partnership between the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, and the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) in the area of skills and talent research.

The partnership will see work being undertaken on the nature of ongoing changes in the labour market and in the skillsets of the labour force, with a focus on skills and talent as “key drivers of productivity, innovation and growth”.

It is hoped that the work will aid the understanding of challenges and opportunities facing Ireland in the present and in the future, with the aim of helping to shape future policy direction.

Upon the announcement of the partnership on October 21, Harris said that whilst there are now more people at work than ever before, Ireland cannot become “complacent” when it comes to understanding shifts in the labour market.

“The world of work is changing and it is vital we take steps to future proof the jobs market and people’s jobs.”

Harris continued: “Better understanding current, future and emerging skills requirements will help us better plan for the education system we need to have to meet the demands of our economy and society.”

The partnership was also welcomed by the Director of the ESRI, Professor Alan Barrett.

He said: “It is well recognised that increases in productivity are the basis for sustainable economic growth and improved living standards.”

“In turn, it is also well understood that enhanced skills are a key factor in increasing productivity” he continued. “Given this context, the ESRI is delighted to be working with the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science on this crucial research agenda.”

Cooperation between the two bodies will be facilitated by a ‘Joint Skills Research Programme’, which is envisaged to run for three years.

Evan Skidmore O’Reilly

Evan Skidmore O’Reilly is News Co-Editor for the 70th volume of Trinity News. He is a former Deputy News Editor, and is a current final year Business and Politics student.