Skills research partnership between the department and ESRI announced by Minister Harris

Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris today welcomed the launch of a new partnership on research between his department (DFHERIS) and the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) to help drive ambition on skills and talent.

The ESRI, in partnership with the department, will undertake research on developments in the labour market and the shifting nature of skills.

Speaking today, Minister Harris said:

“There are more people at work than ever before but we cannot become complacent. The world of work is changing and it is vital we take steps to future proof the jobs market and people’s jobs.

"Better understanding current, future and emerging skills requirements will help us better plan for the education system we need to have to meet the demands of our economy and society.”

Professor Alan Barrett, Director of the ESRI, added:

“It is well recognised that increases in productivity are the basis for sustainable economic growth and improved living standards.

“In turn, it is also well understood that enhanced skills are a key factor in increasing productivity. Given this context, the ESRI is delighted to be working with the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science on this crucial research agenda.”


The collaboration between the department and the ESRI will run for three years and comes amid a backdrop of rapid transformation affecting skills and labour market needs.

This work will assist Ireland in responding effectively to the challenges and opportunities facing us now and into the future, with a focus on skills and talent as key drivers of productivity, innovation and growth.

This research work is a first step in addressing early findings from the 2022 OECD Skills Strategy Project, specifically the need to have dynamic, granular, real-time data and analysis to ensure Ireland reaches its ambitious goals on skills and talent.