Next Government Must Deliver World Class Education System – Ibec Mid-West And Kerry

In advance of the upcoming general election, Ibec Mid-West and Kerry, the group that represents business in the region, called on the next government to ramp up investment in education to ensure students develop the necessary skills to thrive when they enter the workforce. A skilled and versatile talent pool will strengthen the region’s credentials as an attractive location for businesses to set up.

Ibec Mid-West and Kerry Regional Director Sinead Mullins said: “The talent and creativity of students in the region must be nurtured. The ever changing workplace environment means that the skills requirements of the economy are always evolving. As such, it is crucial the Mid-West and Kerry region is well positioned to produce a skilled and adaptable workforce.

“The region needs a significant increase in the number of start-up companies, more job creation in the existing base of over 1,000 companies and increased foreign direct investment. Education and training providers must be given the necessary resources to deliver targeted educational initiatives aimed at meeting industry demand for intermediate and high skills across a range of sectors including tourism, ICT, engineering, precision engineering, medical technology and food. Higher and further education should be supported to collaborate with industry in developing programmes that will provide ‘job-ready’ candidates for enterprise within the region.

“We also need to ensure that our young students have access to world class career guidance services to help inform their important education and career decisions. A study carried out by Amárach research found that 47% of survey respondents would like their children to live where they are now when they start working. World class education facilities can play a major role in enabling young people to continue to live and work in their local communities.

“The Amárach research also indicated that 37% of Munster respondents would like their children to work in a large multinational or large Irish company when they are older. A highly skilled and versatile workforce will be fundamental in attracting these companies to the region.”

The Munster respondents then selected the Public Service (23%), a small or medium sized business (14%) or self-employed (26%) as the other preferred career options for their children when they enter the workforce.

“The next government must implement measures that will underpin the sustainability of a high-quality higher education system directly aligned with the needs of the 21st century workplace. We are calling on all general election candidates to actively support us in securing increased education investment for the region. We need a collaborative effort to develop the world class education facilities that the Mid-West and Kerry region richly deserves,” concluded Ms Mullins.

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