Future Jobs Ireland

Future Jobs Ireland seeks to address the future needs of businesses and people

CIPD Ireland has welcomed the government’s launch of Future Jobs Ireland 2019: Preparing Now for Tomorrow’s Economy, a new whole-of-Government framework for the next phase of Ireland’s economic development.

Future Jobs Ireland sets out how the country can respond to future risks and the Government’s ambitions for a sustainable economy. From a people management perspective, it incorporates ambitions around flexible and remote working, career advice, upskilling and lifelong learning, incentivising return to work and care facilities, the responsiveness of the education and training system, as well as improved innovation, productivity and leadership capability. These are central to enhancing our workforce and improving our workplaces.

The framework examines the future needs of businesses and workers under five key pillars:

  • Embracing innovation and technological change
  • Improving SME productivity
  • Enhancing skills and developing and attracting talent
  • Increasing participation in the workforce
  • Transitioning to a low carbon economy

At the launch, An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar TD, said: 'People have worked hard over the last eight years and should be proud of how far they have taken our country.  But there is no room for complacency…. We want Irish people to benefit from the changes already happening in the world of technology, artificial intelligence and robotics, and the move to a low-carbon economy.'

'I want Ireland to be a country that works to live, not lives to work. Businesses need to consider new ways of attracting and retaining talent through remote and flexible working options: women as well as men can get the job done. We need to see lifelong learning as the norm so we are adaptable to new technology and sectors.  And, today we are announcing that we have committed to doubling our Lifelong Learning rate to 18% by 2025.'

The framework recognises that society is always ‘on’, and connectivity and greater accessibility is changing the way people work. This comes with negatives and positives, which we have seen in our CIPD Ireland 2019 research on the use of smartphones.

The launch acknowledged that flexible working and lifelong learning are not only good for businesses and employers, they can be good for the wellbeing of employees.

The Future Jobs Ireland 2019 will include initiatives such as:

  • a national consultation on the extension of flexible working options to all employees and commencing a strategy for remote working;
  • developing a public service to assist people returning to work, particularly mothers;
  • ncentivising employers to provide early learning and care facilities;
  • eviewing income tax arrangements for second earners to incentivise people to return to work;
  • encouraging employers to use all the available talent through greater employment of underrepresented groups of people e.g. those with disabilities, older people, and women in certain age cohorts;
  • doubling participation in lifelong learning by 2025;
  • developing training for emerging technologies;
  • providing career advice to existing workers; and
  • ensuring our education and training system is responsive to enterprise needs.

It also seeks to achieve greater productivity in Irish-owned and SME sectors, recognising the need to support the growth of indigenous business, including investment funding to scale up Irish businesses and improving their leadership and management capabilities. For 2019, increasing innovation and supporting technological change will be driven by increasing investment in Research and Development.

Read the summary and report

The five pillars of Future Jobs Ireland

Each of the five pillars of Future Jobs Ireland has high level targets for 2025. Key deliverables for 2019 under each pillar include:

Pillar 1: Embracing innovation and technological change

  • Deliver important policy initiatives including an Industry 4.0 Strategy, a National Digital Strategy, and a National Artificial Intelligence Strategy
  • Form Top Teams to progress areas of opportunity for Ireland beginning with Artificial Intelligence, GovTech and Offshore Renewables
  • Develop Ireland as a centre for developing and testing new technologies
  • With NESC, develop a strategy for Transition Teams to help the transition of vulnerable enterprises and workers

Pillar 2: Improving SME productivity

  • Deliver a new female entrepreneurship strategy
  • Develop a new investment funding facility to assist indigenous Irish companies in scaling their businesses
  • Encourage the growth of clusters where enterprises can grow and help each other and deepen linkages between foreign and Irish owned businesses
  • Increase the impact of Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) and increase SME take-up of Enterprise Ireland (EI) and LEO productivity supports
  • Drive productivity growth in the construction and retail sectors

Pillar 3: Enhancing skills and developing and attracting talent

  • Offer career advice to workers through the Public Employment Service
  • Engrain lifelong learning and offer career enhancing opportunities to workers
  • Ensure our economic migration system is responsive to our labour market needs
  • Promote flexible training options
  • Provide training in emerging technologies

Pillar 4: Increasing participation in the labour force

  • Conduct a national consultation on extending flexible working options
  • Develop guidelines for employers on flexible working options
  • Develop a return to work service (e.g. for women returning to the workplace) as part of the Public Employment Service
  • Improve employment outcomes for people with disabilities
  • Provide incentives for people who wish to work longer

Pillar 5: Transitioning to a low carbon economy

  • Position Ireland as a centre in research, development and innovation, for smart grids, buildings and renewable technologies
  • Review the regional dimension of the economic and employment implications of the transition to a low carbon economy
  • Promote electric vehicles and achieve over 10,000 electric vehicles on the road by the end of the year
  • Deliver a national deep retrofit programme for existing housing stock
  • Develop and implement green procurement policy