What We Do

Expert Group on Future Skills Needs (EGFSN)

The Expert Group on Future Skills Needs (EGFSN) advises the Irish Government on skills needs and labour market issues that impact on enterprise and employment growth.

The Expert Group on Future Skills Needs (EGFSN) is an independent, non-statutory body, which includes representatives from the business community, education and training providers, trade unions, and a small number of Government Departments and agencies (DES, DETE, EI, IDA, SOLAS, HEA). The EGFSN has the task of advising Government on future skills requirements and associated labour market issues that impact on enterprise development and employment growth.

Established in 1997, the EGFSN carries out research, analysis and horizon scanning in relation to emerging skills requirements at thematic and sectoral levels. Steering Groups comprising of experts from relevant enterprise sectors and the education and training sector may oversee sectoral research studies to be undertaken or commissioned by the EGFSN. It draws on statistical input and analysis from the Skills and Labour Market Research Unit (SLMRU) of SOLAS and it carries out consultations with the enterprise/education experts. The EGFSN drafts reports setting out the projected needs. Its research findings and agreed Action Plans are submitted to the National Skills Council prior to publication. It disseminates its findings to the Regional Skills Fora and other relevant groups.

The National Skills Strategy 2025 was published by Government in January 2016 and marked an important milestone in addressing the skills needs of the economy and of society. The National Skills Strategy 2025, and the Action Plan for Education 2016-2019, provided for the establishment of the National Skills Council (NSC) as a key part of a new national skills infrastructure. The NSC will oversee research and provide advice on the prioritisation of identified skills needs and how to secure the delivery of identified needs. The Expert Group will work closely with the National Skills Council through the provision of research and analysis on the future skills needs of the enterprise sector.

The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment provides the EGFSN with research and secretariat support. The EGFSN’s work programme is managed by the Head of Secretariat based in the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment. The EGFSN’s budget comes from the National Training Fund.