VET and HRD research in European countries > Overview

Ireland  [7]  Review of VET/HRD research

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Current VET/HRD research

VET research in Ireland is primarily oriented to policy issues and labour market analysis. Evaluation research has formed the basis for programme reviews and has fed in to the development of national development plans and the programmes for investment in human resources supported by the European Social Fund.

A considerable amount of research has also been devoted to examining employment and skills trends.  This research has focused on the future outlook for different occupations and skills sets and hence the need for education/training provision. This  research, in recent years, has been primarily for the Government’s Expert Group on Future Skill Needs.

As a small country, the amount of VET research in Ireland is quite limited. Considerably more research is undertaken in relation to the formal education system. Relatively little research is undertaken on pedagogic issues relating to VET.

Future VET/HRD research

There is a need to continue research on the skill needs of the future and to evaluate public programmes. Increasingly, the emphasis of such programmes is likely to be on particular target groups and social equity considerations. Research needs to support this changed emphasis. A particular focus for the future is likely to be migration issues due to the very rapid rise in immigrants into Ireland in the last few years.

There is an increased recognition of the importance of human resources for national economic and social success. This has led to an increased interest in forward-planning of human resources. Efforts to conduct research towards the development of a national skills strategy have commenced in the last year..

The use of internet and other open learning methods is of widespread consideration and it is likely that research and development in this area will become more important. In general, pilots of different approach to the delivery of VET are likely, and such pilots will usually then be evaluated.

An important policy concern is the up-skilling of employed persons with low-levels of qualifications. Research into the barriers facing such persons, and mechanisms to overcome such barriers, is likely to be an important theme in the next period.

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Source: Cedefop - National Research Report Ireland (details see Bibliography)
Editor: Sabine Manning  © WIFO