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The Expert Group on Future Skills Needs (EGFSN) is an independent, non-statutory body, which includes members from the education and training providers, trade union and business sectors, and a small number of Government Departments and agencies (DES, DETE, EI, IDA, SOLAS, HEA).

The EGFSN was established by the Government in November 1997 to assist in the development of national strategies to tackle the issue of skills needs, manpower forecasting and education and training for business.

As of 2019 we have published nearly 100 reports, and while our mandate has been updated, our core function has remained the same: to advise the Government on future skills requirements and associated labour market issues that impact on the national potential for economic growth.

The EGFSN identifies the skills required by enterprises across occupations and sectors. Our work supports the alignment of education and training programmes with employers’ needs and underpins labour market activation programmes. We also aim to help people make informed decisions for their careers.

Skills forecasting exercises are used to inform the number of vacancies in Further Education and Training or Higher Education, to inform the design and allocation of on-the-job or re-training programmes, to inform apprenticeship programmes and to develop migration policy.

A number of significant initiatives have emerged from recommendations made in our reports in recent years, including:

  • The introduction of bonus points for successful Honours Maths candidates at Leaving Certificate Level.
  • The introduction and implementation of an ICT Skills Action Plan to address higher level skills shortages in ICT occupations.
  • The development of a Foreign Languages Strategy.
  • Development of new Apprenticeships in non-traditional sectors (e.g. HGV drivers, Chefs).