At our 32nd annual Social Policy Conference last month, Mick Clifford (Irish Examiner, Irish Journalist of the Year 2016) interviewed Roddy Doyle, Booker Prize Winner in 1993, and one of Ireland's greatest living authors.
Technological change is coming whether we like it or not. The question is are we doing enough to prepare for it? More specifically are we doing enough to support those workers who will be most impacted by the changes that are on the horizon?
International Literacy Day gives us the opportunity to remember the importance of literacy, to celebrate the progress we have made, and a chance to reinvigorate efforts to address the literacy challenges that we still face.
Two studies published recently by the Central Statistics Office show that a greater percentage of graduates from Higher and Further education were in substantial employment one year after graduation than in 2010, and that the higher the educational attainment, the higher the income. Education has the capacity to be transformative, particularly for those in lower socioeconomic groups. Government must prioritise equality of both access and opportunity to education for all.
The negative impact on rural towns and communities from the potential fallout from Brexit is receiving welcome attention at present. But what about the other threat to rural Ireland and regional development - the impact that automation and robotics will have on employment across the regions? This issue should be front and centre as Government rolls out the Climate Action Plan and the National Development Plan.
Investment in education at all levels and throughout the life cycle can deliver a more equal society and prepare citizens to participate in a democracy. Social Justice Ireland has proposed a €429m education package for Budget 2020 that includes investment in areas such as adult literacy, DEIS, skills development, and community education.
Social Justice Ireland wishes our newly elected MEPs every success. This is a pivotal time for the future of the European Union and MEPs play a key role in ensuring that social and environmental sustainability and the Sustainable Development Goals are at the heart of Europe's future. To this end we have formulated Five Key Policy Asks for our MEPs in conjunction with Trocaire. They are:
The Elimination of Poverty
The Championing of Climate Justice
Policy Coherence on the SDGs
Delivery on the European Pillar of Social Rights
Supporting an international treaty on Business and Human Rights
In this edition of our National Social Monitor, Social Justice Ireland looks at the budgets of each of the 31 Local Authorities and analyses where the money was spent, and where it wasn’t, to assess the priorities of local government.
What does your Local Authority value? What progress is being made at local level to tackle the causes of issues like housing, job sustainability and climate change? Following the publication of Social Justice Ireland's latest National Social Monitor - Local Issues edition, check out our Local Authority profiles, a one-page overview of each Local Authority area and how it spends its budget on your behalf.
Investing in lifelong learning and adult education is vital to prevent future skills mismatches and to ensure no-one is excluded from an ever changing labour market.