Slí Eile: The current economic crisis is forcing us to move away from strategies that rely on a combination of dependence on foreign direct investment with patterns of indigenous development that still rely too much on low-skill and low-wage competitive advantage. We need to up the game. What worked in the past may not work in the future.
The Government report ‘Building Ireland’s Smart Economy’ envisaged a move towards 70% of Irish exports in traded international services by 2025. To realise this goal would call for a huge change in the way we organise production and the distribution of skills and knowledge. An active, engaged State working hand-in-hand with private and voluntary interests needs to invest in new areas of value-production. These could include new areas of long-term huge potential such as:
- International education services
- International health services
- Consultancy services in sustainable planning and habitation
- Green technologies and services for export
How will these new growth areas be planned for now? What is the role of education and training?