In 2012 Minister Bruton established a Manufacturing Development Forum, led by industry experts, to advise the Government on the sector and to assist in two research initiatives which he set underway at the same time.
This Forum has provided valuable insights into manufacturing issues. The North South Unit of DJEI provides a Secretariat for the Forum.
Those two research initiatives were:
Development of a Long-term Vision and Strategic Plan
Forfás undertook a study to revisit the role of manufacturing in Ireland’s economy, to assess where it stands,, and to set out a strategic vision for 2020, aimed at reversing the current employment trend and enabling a return to growth. This research set out the policy actions needed to support a sustainable and competitive manufacturing sector to 2020 in the context of global trends, the on-going transformation of the sector and the existing issues facing the sector in Ireland.
Develop an Assessment of Manufacturing Skills Needs
The Expert Group on Future Skills Needs, (EGFSN) working alongside Forfás, undertook an in-depth study on the future skills needs of the manufacturing sector in Ireland, building on previous sub-sectoral work and undertaking new firm-level inquiry.
Both Reports were published in April 2013 and contain a wide range of recommended actions. Key Actions have been incorporated into the Action Plan for Jobs process and are being pursued by the relevant bodies and Agencies. The Forum continues to operate and provides advice and recommendations to help drive policy for the sector.