National Skills Council

Who we are

National Skills Council

What we do

The National Skills Council provides a mechanism to mediate demands across the full range of needs identified through the research and analysis conducted under its direction. The members of the Council are drawn from senior levels in the public and private sector.  

The National Skills Council meets quarterly.

Expected timeframe for the group to conclude its work: Ongoing

Terms of Reference

  • Receive and consider costed proposals for the annual research/work programme of the EGFSN in advance of the programme being formally submitted for approval for funding by Department of Education and Skills or the Department of Enterprise Jobs and Innovation as appropriate.
  • Receive, consider and approve prior to publication agreed action plans based on EGFSN research findings.
  • Receive, consider and publish research and reports on skills and labour market data from the Skills and Labour Market Research Unit of SOLAS.
  • Receive reports on the work of the Regional Skills Fora and consider assessments from the Regional Fora in relation to skills development in their regions.
  • Receive reports from SOLAS, HEA and the Chairs of the Council of Presidents of the Universities and Institutes of Technologies on the delivery of responses to identified skills needs.
  • Receive reports from DES, HEA and SOLAS on overall funding      allocations for education and training provision.
  • Provide updates as required from other Government Departments on related strategies.
  • Receive regular updates from other relevant stakeholders (IDA Ireland, Enterprise Ireland, Science Foundation Ireland) on developing sectoral opportunities and potential target areas for increased Foreign Direct Investment and consider and advise on issues associated with the availability of skills to support such employment opportunities.
  • Prepare an annual prioritisation of identified skills needs to inform decisions on allocation of funding across FET, HE and Skillnets. This prioritisation should include reference to levels and discipline areas and delivery mechanisms e.g. mainstream provision/ targeted funds.
  • An annual statement of the work of the Council will be presented to the Minister for Education and Skills and published no later than the end of March of the following year. Other reports may be published as agreed by the Council/ Minutes of meetings will be published.


Designated Public Official (DPO): Seán Ó Foghlú, Secretary General, Department of Education and Skills; Joe McHugh, Minister for Education and Skills; William Beausang, Assistant Secretary, Department of Education and Skills.

  • Chairperson: Bob Savage, Vice President, Regional CIO for EMEA and Cork Site Leader Dell Technologies.
  • Seán Ó Foghlú, Secretary General, Department of Education and Skills.
  • Joe McHugh, Minister for Education and Skills.
  • Dr. Alan Wall, CEO, HEA.
  • Dr. Padraig Walsh, CEO, Quality and Qualifications Ireland.
  • Martin Shanahan, CEO, IDA.
  • Julie Sinnamon, CEO, Enterprise Ireland.
  • Prof. Mark Ferguson, Director General, Science Foundation Ireland.
  • Nessa White, General Secretary, ETBI.
  • Dr. Orlaigh Quinn, Secretary General, Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.
  • John McKeon, Secretary General, Department of Social Protection.
  • Patricia Coleman, Assistant Secretary General, Department of Public Expenditure and Reform.
  • William Beausang, Assistant Secretary, Department of Education and Skills.
  • Andrew Brownlee, CEO, SOLAS.
  • Liam Ryan, Managing Director, SAP Labs Ireland.
  • Martin McVicar, Managing Director, Combilift.
  • Prof. Philip Nolan, President, Irish Universities Association.
  • Dr. Brendan McCormack, Chair of Board of Presidents, Technological Higher Education Association.
  • Paul Healy, CEO, Skillnet Ireland
  • Peter Mulrine, P. Mulrine & Sons Sales.


Meetings Documentation


Address: Skills Planning and Enterprise Engagement Unit, Department of Education and Skills, Marlborough St, Dublin 1

See Also