Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Business (Research)


Department of Continuing Education

First Advisor

Dr. Angela Wright


This study assesses the position of Irish businesses in relation to upskilling their workers in the globalised business environment. There is a scarce amount of data published on the implications for Irish businesses and their interaction state supports for upskilling the Irish labour-force.

This study has found that Irish businesses recognise that they now operate in a global market and that they believe that a strong third and vocational level of skills exist but work based skills must improve. Outsourcing parts of the business process is not considered a preferred option of skills replacement by Irish businesses but business networks are considered a viable method to upskill workers. Labour mobility has provided scarce skills but potential skills are not always identified by employers. FAS, the state training agency, are perceived as overly bureaucratic by Irish businesses and out of step with business needs. The Skillnets, enterprise led, training networks model is considered proactive and in step with Irish business needs but also needs improved marketing. Irish businesses believe that potential exists in the tax credit system to improve upskilling supports.

This research has found that the government is committed to ‘Life-Long-Leaming’ in the drive towards the knowledge led economy but that the government and the state agencies need to market their upskilling services better to the Irish business community. This current study has found that the government needs to remove bureaucratic obstacles in relation to accessing upskilling supports. This research has also found that the government needs to adapt the services provided by its training agencies to the needs of Irish business for the upskilling of the Irish labour-force.

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