The Government’s Action Plan for Jobs 2013 was published in late February 2013. The aim of the plan is to support employment creation and provide targeted assistance to those who are unemployed to help them access the labour market, according to the Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn T.D.
With a rapidly changing economy, the measures the Department will take this year are focused on aligning the education and training system with labour market needs, addressing skills gaps where there are real opportunities for employment and also targeting youth and the long-term unemployed.
Welcoming the Plan, Minister Quinn said, “The Action Plan for Jobs demonstrates joined up Government thinking where we work closely across several Departments to address the most pressing problem facing this country – unemployment.
Some of the significant Department of Education and Skills actions in the plan include:
• The provision of up to 6,500 education and training places for the long-term unemployed under the Momentum programme;
• Ensuring that the skills needs of the manufacturing sector are incorporated in targeted upskilling programmes for unemployed people.
• The further implementation of the ICT Action Plan, including providing 760 further places on the ICT graduate conversion programme
• Review of international education strategy
• Review the Apprenticeship Training Model through consultation with key stakeholders on options for change.
The Action Plan for Jobs 2013 contains a number of measures surrounding the further implementation of the “ICT Action Plan”. The joint Government-Industry Action Plan, which was launched in January 2012, was developed as a direct response to specific ICT skills shortages.
A second phase of ICT graduate skills conversion programmes was announced recently which will see more than 760 new places made available on 15 individual programmes in higher education institutions across the country.
Minister Quinn added, “International education is a €1 billion sector for the Irish economy. For Ireland to attract globally talented international students, the education sector needs to work together, to be competitive and to be supported by the right Government policies and actions. To this end, the Department of Education and Skills will carry out a short, focused review of our international education strategy.”