#FutureJobsIreland Summit 2019

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#FutureJobsIreland Summit 2019 –
Statement from Minister Doherty

Thursday, 7 November, 2019

Economic recovery has been much more rapid than forecast and the pace of improvement shows no sign of slowing down.  Over 2.3 million people are now employed in Ireland, more than ever before.
We should be proud of how far we have come but now is not the time for complacency.  Our economy will transform radically as the impact of new technologies and decarbonisation reshapes the jobs landscape. We must future-proof for the economic challenges that tomorrow brings.

Future Jobs Ireland is a Government led initiative to deliver policy reforms over the coming years to build an innovative and competitive economy amidst a changing world of work.  My Department’s focus over the coming years will be on working together with our partner agencies, SOLAS and the Education and Training Boards, to provide as many people as possible with opportunities to retrain and upskill for the jobs of tomorrow.

Intreo, the Public Employment Service, managed by my Department forms the core of this activity by putting supports for job-seeking at the heart of our services.  It is important to remember that our employment services are not only there to support those who are unemployed.  We offer a walk-in service for all, helping people to find work or explore new career opportunities.  For those who do not find work quickly, additional supports are offered through places on employment and training schemes, which are closely aligned to the skills needs of the labour market.  
Intreo also offers a range of supports and services for employers through its JobsIreland recruitment website as well as programmes to encourage enterprise among the unemployed.  As the labour market tightens, the Department continues to offer financial incentives to employers to hire those in receipt of long-term jobseeker payments and jobseekers with disabilities, through the JobsPlus and Wage Subsidy schemes.

Today’s school children will be employed in jobs that do not yet exist.  Modern apprenticeships and traineeships offer young school-leavers a real, tangible alternative to the traditional third-level experience.   The Intreo service will continue to increase the focus on ensuring that students, in particular those in disadvantaged schools, are made aware of alternative progression routes to skilled employment.

As we near full employment, it’s important to also reach out to those who might benefit from closer attachment to the labour market.  A range of reforms have been initiated in support of increased engagement with economically inactive lone parents, adult dependants of jobseekers and people with disabilities.  In relation to supports for people with disabilities, it is estimated that the Ability programme will bring 1,000 young participants who are not work-ready, closer to the labour market through engagement in training and personal development activities.
Although unemployment figures have fallen below 5% (from a peak of 16% during the economic crisis), youth unemployment remains a concern.  The Youth Employment Support Scheme – launched in October 2018 – is targeted exclusively at young people facing barriers to employment to provide them with the opportunity to learn important work and social skills in a supportive environment while on a work placement.  This initiative will increase their employment prospect by breaking the vicious cycle of: ‘no experience - no work”, or, “no work - no experience”.

A job and a wage are the best means by which we can raise families out of poverty.  My Department’s focus this year and beyond will be on contributing to increased participation in Ireland’s labour market by working to ensure that all groups in society are supported in their efforts to get a job and reach their full potential.


Last modified:07/11/2019