The Irish government recently launched the Economic recovery plan 2021 for rapid job creation and economic growth after the pandemic

The recovery plan emphasises upskilling, providing targeted support for those sectors most impacted. It is designed to stimulate growth and planning for the long term through increased investment in research and skills, the digital transformation and climate action. In response to the Next Generation EU package, the National recovery and resilience plan was published, aligned with the Economic recovery plan (ERP) and the ongoing review of the National development plan (NDP).

The plan was overseen by the Cabinet committee on economic recovery and investment. It represents a first step to reform and direct relevant funding towards decarbonising projects such as retrofitting, ecosystem resilience and regeneration, climate mitigation and adaptation, and green data systems. The plan includes seven investments and two reforms to meet the need for green and digital transitions in the coming years.

The reforms and investments comprise three priority areas:

  • Priority 1: advancing the green transition;
  • Priority 2: accelerating and expanding digital reforms and transformation;
  • Priority 3: social and economic recovery and job creation.

VET programmes supporting twin transitions and inclusiveness

Under Priority 3, further education and training (FET) plays a vital role in supporting a new Work placement experience programme targeted at reaching 10 000 participants. Ireland’s Further Education and Training Authority (SOLAS) Recovery skills response programme will provide a range of VET programmes rolled out as part of the Skills to compete and the establishment of the SOLAS Green skills action programme focusing on providing training to address climate and low carbon economy issues. Skills to compete aims to improve participants’ employability skills, while supporting and advancing the progression of all relevant learners through three core components: digital skills, transversal skills and sector-specific skills provision. The Green skills action programme aims to progress the green transition and support climate action. It will include a focus on provision in Near zero energy building and retrofitting as well as the development of new modules in green skills. There will be a focus on using technology in pedagogical approaches to teaching and learning and using tech-led approaches to the provision of education and training.

The Work placement experience programme  and the SOLAS green skills action programme will provide  workers affected by the pandemic (women in particular), the opportunity to gain experience, reskill or upskill in new areas. It also includes financial aid to cohorts at risk of poverty with lower-than-average workforce participation rates.

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Info on Ireland's National Recovery and Resilience Plan 2021 -full pdf publication can be downloaded here

Ministerial announcement on VET under National recovery and resilience plan

SOLAS Green skills action programme – Information