Skills and Talent Boom and bust economic cycles have strongly affected employment. While boom periods seem positive, challenges arise, such as skills shortages when enterprises struggle to find the talent and right skills necessary for their operations and growth. In addition, technological progress can make some skills obsolete and this can be exacerbated by a low lifelong learning rate. National policy is to develop the skills that our enterprise base requires. There is a need to futureproof employment, identifying those sectors that are vulnerable and those that provide opportunities for the future. We need to make sure that our people are as well-equipped as possible to take up the jobs of the future. We need to enable enterprises, and SMEs in particular, to invest in upskilling and re-skilling their workforce, including managerial capacity to enhance and maintain productivity, adapt to technological disruption, react effectively to shocks to the economy, and identify and exploit emergent opportunities from the digital and green economies. Lifelong learning is important in this regard.It provides the capacity for individuals to acquire new and relevant skills and to more readily fulfill their needs and aspirations. Creating a Learning Region will assist in providing high quality and timely education and training responses to evolving enterprise and skills needs. This issue is dealt with in more detail in Chapter 7.
Innovation In line with our national policy Innovation 2020 and the EU’s Horizon 2020, the RSES places emphasis on enhancing our regional innovation capacity.
The EU’s Open Innovation, Open Science, Open to the World - a vision for Europe states that:
“Innovation can no longer be seen as the result of predefined and isolated innovation activities but rather as the outcome of a complex co-creation process involving knowledge flows across the entire economic and social environment.” Consistency with this policy will increasingly involve the co-creation and co-production of new knowledge in a manner that values and systematically enables collaboration. This new knowledge is highly impactful and a driver of economic growth. Our Region has sevenmajor higher education institutions, four of which are currently in the process of redisignation asTechnologicalUniversities (Cork InstituteofTechnology and Institute of Technology Tralee will form the Munster Technological University, while Institute of Technology Carlow and Waterford Institute of Technology will form the Technological University of the South East). HEIs will have a leading role in encouraging innovation and the application, including the commercial application, of all forms of intellectual property. The RSES strongly supports their role as a vital part of the overall regional economic proposition. The Disruptive Technology Innovation Fund managed by DBEI is an important mechanism within Project Ireland 2040 to stimulate our regional innovation capacity. It encourages collaboration in research, development and innovation between two or more enterprises located in Ireland or one or more enterprises working with one or more research performing organisations located in Ireland. The fund identifies the Government research priorities areas that industrial research bidding for funds should focus on: ICT; Health and well-being; Food; Energy, Climate Action and Sustainability; Manufacturing and Materials; and Services and Business Processes. These priority areas are underpinned by overarching science and technology platforms: Basic Biomedical Science; Nanotechnology; Advanced Materials; Microelectronics; Photonics and, Software Engineering.
Skills and Talent a. It is an objective to address the skills shortages challenges though improvements in lifelong learning rates across the Region; b. When local skills shortages arise and skills development at local level is not possible in the short run, it is an objective to explore the attraction and absorption of incoming talent, with emphasis on accommodation, education and integration.
Southern Regional Assembly | RSES
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