Business needs more education

7 Oct 2004

Ireland needs to pursue higher levels of academic achievement as well as strive for greater links between the education and business sector if it wishes to enjoy economic success going forward, warned Eoin O’Driscoll, chairman of the Enterprise Strategy Group and co-author of Ahead of the Curve – Ireland and the Global Economy.

Addressing the 4th Annual Skillnets Conference at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, O’Driscoll highlighted education and training as one of the five main sources of competitive advantage.

O’Driscoll said that Ireland had historically enjoyed a strong international reputation for the calibre of its education system. “However, the rapid pace of technological development and increasing sophistication of business processes and systems now demand higher levels of academic achievement and greater links between the education sector and enterprise than ever before,” he said.

The chief executive of Skillnets, Maire Hunt, said that Skillnets’ network of 56 networks and 2,500 companies were striving towards this very purpose across all levels of Ireland’s economy. “The need to upskill is not confined to knowledge companies. Nor is it only present in industries in decline or for particular groups of workers. We are seeing that demand is across the board for all occupational groups and every company,” she added.

By John Kennedy