€300m funding has been allocated for the Human Capital Initiative as part of Future Jobs Ireland, Cork North West Fine Gael General Election candidate Councillor John Paul O’Shea has said.
Cllr. O’Shea said: “This week the Government hosted a summit on Future Jobs Ireland, the whole-of-Government plan to prepare our businesses and workers for the future.
“My colleagues Minister for Education, Joe McHugh and Minister for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, attended the summit and announced a €300m Human Capital Initiative.
“The investment will go towards higher education programmes, which are targeted at meeting the future skills needs of the economy.
“Enhancing skills and developing talent is one of the five pillars in Future Jobs Ireland. The plan will help protect jobs here in Cork as the world changes.
“The summit focused on three themes with a view to finalising goals for 2020: transitioning, clustering and new modes of working
“Our enterprise economy is creating 850 jobs a week, but Fine Gael will not be complacent about this success. We are still dealing with the consequences of a previous Government who adopted a complacent approach.
“The world of work is changing, and we must respond by ensuring that we are re-training workers, creating alternative employment opportunities and maximising flexible work practises that can help improve our work-life balance. Future Jobs Ireland is the plan to achieve these goals.
Progress made under the strategy so far includes:
- Developing a new SME and entrepreneurship strategy, which will be launched before the end of the year.
- Undertaking research on remote and flexible working options, including exploring whether workers should be given the ‘right to disconnect’, which will inform new Government policy in the area.
- Launching a €2.75 million Regional Clustering Fund and opening competitive calls under the Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund and the Regional Enterprise Development Fund.
- Springboard+ and Skillnet Ireland now offer a series of training programmes with a focus on the future of work in areas like blockchain, Artificial Intelligence (AI), cybersecurity, the Internet of Things, virtual reality and smart factory technology.
- A new female entrepreneurship strategy is in development and will be launched in January.
- Introducing a streamlined process for the spouses and partners of Critical Skills Employment Permit holders.
“Future Jobs Ireland will help Ireland adapt and respond to a changing world and ensure that our economic success if future-proofed,” Cllr. O’Shea concluded.