Training and development in the Irish context: responding to the competitiveness agenda?
Recent years have witnessed considerable efforts to improve the national system of training and development in Ireland. Much of this renewed effort has been instigated by heightened international competition, technological advancements leading to the emergence of skill gaps in certain industries, and renewed pressure to provide increased incentives for organisational level training. The combined effect has been the dilution of the essentially voluntarist nature of the State's role in training and development towards a more interventionist approach. This paper is divided into four key sections. The first section provides an overview of Ireland in terms of her labour market, educational and vocational infrastructure. In section two, we describe the evolution of the national system of training and development in Ireland and provide a basic "map" of Ireland's training framework. Section three reviews current practices and trends in training and development at the organisational level using both national statistics on the incidences of training, and data collected by the Cranet-E Survey on International Human Resource Management (1995). Finally, section four discusses a range of critical challenges facing Ireland as we approach the new millennium.
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