• 22 Apr 2014 OECD Review of the Action Plan for Jobs

    Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD, today welcomed the publication by the OECD of its Review of the Action Plan for Jobs (APJ), which concludes that the plan is working while recommending adjustments in the future to maximise its potential.



Our latest news is listed below. Click on the links to read the full articles.

  • 05 Dec 2013 Forfás at the World Competitiveness Summit

    Pictured is Martin D. Shanahan, Chief Executive, Forfás speaking at the recent joint 2013 World Competitiveness Summit and Global Federation of Competitiveness Councils annual meeting in Korea.

  • 24 Jul 2013 Forfás publishes Annual Report 2012

    Measures undertaken as part of the Action Plan for Jobs and related strategies are having a positive impact on enterprise development and job creation; however a continued focus on improving competitiveness is necessary to ensure we can grow employment and exports, according to Martin D. Shanahan, Chief Executive of Forfás on the publication of the Forfás 2012 Annual Report.

  • 04 Jul 2013 Enterprise Development Agencies created nearly 9,000 net jobs in 2012 – Minister Bruton

    Ireland's enterprise development agencies cumulatively created nearly 9,000 net jobs in 2012, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton TD announced today. The figures are contained within the Forfás 2012 Annual Employment Survey which is published today and examines full-time and part-time employment levels in all companies assisted by the four development agencies, Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland, Shannon Development and Údarás na Gaeltachta.

  • 08 Apr 2013 Reduce Costs to Maintain Living Standards – Forfás

    Forfás, the national policy advisory board for enterprise, trade, science, technology and innovation today (Monday, 8 April 2013) published The Costs of Doing Business 2012 which benchmarks Ireland's business costs and recommends actions to improve our cost competitiveness.

  • 12 Mar 2013 New Licensing System will provide significant savings for retailers – Minister Perry

    "The new Integrated Licensing Application Portal for retailers will provide significant savings in terms of time and costs for businesses and entrepreneurs across Ireland through the simplification of the process for applying for multiple licences. This will help business competitiveness and will ultimately protect and create more jobs", Minister for Small Business, John Perry, TD said today (Tuesday) as he chaired the first meeting of the Steering Group of licensing authorities.

  • 26 Feb 2013 Expert Group Highlights Jobs Market Opportunities

    The Expert Group on Future Skills Needs today (Tuesday, 26 February) published its third Vacancy Overview report, which outlines the areas where job vacancies arose during 2012. Through an analysis of almost 100,000 vacancies (from two sources – DSP/FÁS Jobs Ireland and IrishJobs.ie), the Vacancy Overview shows that vacancies continue to exist for most occupations with a strong demand for those with work experience, third level qualifications and/or foreign language skills.

  • 14 Jan 2013 Minister Cannon launches first EGFSN Regional Labour Markets Bulletin 2012

    Minister for Training and Skills, Ciarán Cannon, TD today launched the first in an annual series of publications examining the regional labour markets in Ireland. Regional Labour Markets Bulletin 2012 – published by the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs (EGFSN) - provides an understanding of the labour market at regional level for each of Ireland’s eight regions: Border, Dublin, Mid East, Midland, Mid West, South East, South West and West.

  • 01 Oct 2012 Forfás at the Construction Industry Federation Conference 2012

    Speaking at this year's CIF conference which took place on Friday 28 September 2012 in the Aviva Stadium, Martin D. Shanahan, Chief Executive of Forfás said: "the construction sector is a major contributor to the Irish economy as an employer and in the generation of wealth. It is also a critical component of the business environment. An internationally competitive, innovative and dynamic construction sector and property market is a critically important factor of competitiveness for enterprise investment and growth and jobs."

  • 24 Sep 2012 2,200 people are starting a new business in Ireland every month

    Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton T.D. today (Monday) launched the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) Report for Ireland for 2011. The report shows that there has been an increase in early stage entrepreneurial activity in 2011. As a result more people started new businesses in 2011 than in the previous year. The GEM report estimates that approximately 2,200 enterprising individuals were setting up a new business each month during 2011.

  • 14 Sep 2012 Second progress report on Food Harvest 2020 published

    The Food Harvest High Level Implementation Committee (HLIC) published its second progress report on the implementation of the strategy for the Irish agri-food and fisheries sector, Food Harvest 2020, on 7 September 2012. The committee is chaired by Simon Coveney TD, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine and Declan Hughes, Manager of the Enterprise and Trade Division of Forfás is a member of the HLIC.

  • 25 Jul 2012 Expert Group Provides a View of Ireland’s Skills Supply and Demand

    The Expert Group on Future Skills Needs today (Wednesday 25 July) has published two reports which together provide a view of both the supply and demand of skills in Ireland. Monitoring Ireland's Skills Supply: Trends in Education and Training Outputs is the Expert Group’s annual report on the supply of skills to the Irish labour market and the National Skills Bulletin, provides a review of employment trends, job opportunities and demand for skills.

  • 13 Jul 2012 Speech: Martin Shanahan @ ESOF 2012

    Tá fáilte mhór romhaibh uile go hÉireann, go Baile Átha Cliath agus go dtí an Lá Polasaí ag ESOF 2012. Tá súil agam go mbainfidh sibh taitneamh as an gcomhdháil. On behalf of Forfás, I would like to welcome to you here this morning. Forfás has been working closely with the Chief Scientific Adviser on the ESOF event for over two years. So far, it has exceeded our expectations in the way it has engaged an international audience and also in the way it has engaged the wider Irish public. Forfás is delighted to be involved in supporting the staging of the Euroscience Open Forum event and we are also delighted to host this session at the commencement of policy day.

  • 22 Jun 2012 Boosting Foreign Languages and International Sales Skills Required to Drive Exports Vital to Economic Recovery

    Forfás and the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs (EGFSN) have today published a study, Key Skills for Enterprise to Trade Internationally, which sets out the skills and talent needed to drive Ireland’s trade and export performance in both existing and emerging overseas markets. The study provides a detailed blueprint for adjustments to our education, training and professional development to align skills with the needs of exporting businesses.

  • 20 Jun 2012 Science Council focuses on actions for sustainability of research centres

    The Advisory Council on Science, Technology and Innovation (ACSTI) today made a series of recommendations on how best to support research centres in Ireland with a view to optimising future potential social and economic returns from State investments in research, development and innovation (RD&I).

  • 04 May 2012 Higher productivity is a prerequisite for a return to growth and employment creation

    In a time of austerity and reduced demand, productivity offers significant potential to enhance competitiveness and living standards. Ireland's Productivity Performance 1980-2011 maps Ireland's productivity performance over the last three decades relative to the UK, the US, and the EU. The report analyses Ireland's performance at national and sectoral level.

  • 01 Mar 2012 Government's plan to target core €500million research budget at turning good ideas into good jobs

    The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mr Richard Bruton, T.D., along with the Minister for Research and Innovation, Mr Sean Sherlock, T.D., today [Thursday] launched the Government’s plan to target the majority of the Government’s core €500million budget that the State spends on scientific research every year on areas with the greatest potential for economic return. The Report of the Research Prioritisation Steering Group, chaired by Mr Jim O’Hara, former General Manager of Intel Ireland, which recommended 14 specific areas of greatest opportunity, was approved by the Government on 21 February 2012.

  • 12 Oct 2011 Irish Primary Schools Spring into Science

    This year 153 Irish primary schools took part in the 2011 mass science project, Greenwave, managed by Discover Science and Engineering, which involves primary school students across Ireland tracking the arrival of spring as it moves across the country.

  • 22 Sep 2011 Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn visits Forfás

    Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn was welcomed to Forfás earlier today, 22 September 2011, by Martin Shanahan, Chief Executive for a meeting on projects contributing to the enterprise, research and innovation agenda in Ireland within the EU context.

  • 22 Sep 2011 Science Week 2011 reveals 'The Chemistry of Life'

    Ireland’s favourite science and maths educator Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin and Discover Science and Engineering (DSE), today launched Science Week 2011, 'The Chemistry of Life'. From the food we eat to the beauty products we use and the mobile phone in our pocket, Science Week 2011 will uncover the role of chemistry in our everyday lives! Go to www.scienceweek.ie for competitions, videos and information about the week.

  • 03 Aug 2011 Expert Group Publishes Monitoring Ireland's Skills Supply Report

    The Expert Group on Future Skills Needs (EGFSN) today published its annual report on the supply of skills to the Irish labour market. The report, 'Monitoring Ireland's Skills Supply: Trends in Education and Training Outputs', examines the numbers of students entering and leaving the education/training system in Ireland

  • 28 Jul 2011 Green Enterprise guide launched

    This brochure provides information on where businesses can go for assistance in relation to water conservation, waste prevention, energy efficiency and clean technology. It provides an overview of the key State agencies involved and the programmes and assistance that they offer.

  • 05 Jul 2011 ACSTI Welcomes New Members

    The Forfás Board, is delighted to announce the appointment of Dr David Lloyd, Dean of Research, Molecular Design Group founder and Hitachi Lecturer in Advanced Computing, School of Biochemistry and Immunology, Trinity College Dublin; Kevin O'Leary, Chief Executive Officer, Qumas and Julie O'Neill, Vice President, Operations and General Manager, Gilead Sciences Ltd as members of the Advisory Council on Science, Technology and Innovation.

  • 23 Jun 2011 Structural reform is needed to deliver enduring cost competitiveness – NCC

    Costs of Doing Business in Ireland 2011 evaluates Ireland's relative cost competitiveness, identifies barriers to competitiveness and sets out actions needed to improve and sustain Ireland's competitiveness. The 2011 report finds that while there have been significant improvements in cost competitiveness over the last two years, further progress is required.

  • 25 May 2011 Forfás addresses Northern Ireland Annual Skills Conference

    Martin Shanahan, Chief Executive, Forfás addressed the Northern Ireland Annual Skills Conference in Belfast on 25 May. He outlined the critical importance of skills development to the Irish economy, highlighted progress made towards the targets set out in the National Skills Strategy and the challenges and opportunities for Ireland in skills development.

  • 20 May 2011 Forfás at the Spirit of Enterprise Awards

    Calmast, the Centre for the Advancement of Learning of Maths, Science and Technology presented with the Spirit of Enterprise Michael Dee Award for 2011 by Martin Shanahan, Chief Executive of Forfás and Michael Maddock from the Spirit of Enterprise Forum's Steering Group

  • 29 Apr 2011 Irish businesses continue to invest in R&D despite recession

    Commenting on the publication of the joint Forfás and CSO 2009/2010 Business Expenditure on R&D Survey (BERD) today, Martin Shanahan, Chief Executive of Forfás welcomed the fact that Irish businesses are continuing to invest in R&D despite the recession.

  • 23 Mar 2011 Irish firms outperform most European counterparts in innovation performance

    A new report analysing Ireland's innovation performance shows that although Irish firms continue to outperform most of its European counterparts in terms of engagement in innovation, an opportunity exists to stimulate export-led growth in small firms by encouraging innovation activity in the sector as a priority so that indigenous companies can grow and successfully exploit overseas markets.

  • 17 Jan 2011 Ireland must continue to support research and innovation for stability and growth

    The Advisory Council for Science, Technology and Innovation (ACSTI) today published a statement highlighting the main areas which need to be addressed to ensure Ireland continues to support research and innovation as key priorities for economic and employment stability and growth. The statement, “Staying the Course”, gives the Council’s views on what can be done now to support the research community and the R&D-based enterprise sector.

  • 30 Nov 2010 National Competitiveness Council publishes New Competitiveness Challenge

    "Repositioning Ireland as an internationally competitive location for doing business is essential to support sustainable economic growth and drive job creation" said National Competitiveness Council chairman Dr Don Thornhill, on the publication of the NCC's Annual Competitiveness Report.

  • 29 Nov 2010 Expert Group identifies Future Skills Needs of the Green Economy

    The Expert Group on Future Skills Needs has launched its report, "Future Skills Needs of Enterprise within the Green Economy in Ireland". The fast growing Green Economy has been identified as an area where Ireland has potential for growth, as highlighted in the Government's National Recovery Plan 2011 – 2014 published last week.

  • 17 Nov 2010 Driving Innovation, Increasing Productivity and Improving Costs Will Have Positive Economic Impact

    The report Enterprise Statistics at a Glance 2010 is a summary of statistics on the performance of the Irish enterprise sector, including the broad economic context; economy expenditure and output; Ireland's international trade in goods and services; and inward and outward foreign direct investment flows. The statistics highlight some of the key trends in the activities of the enterprise base in Ireland and how it has developed and restructured over recent years.

  • 29 Sep 2010 Forfás to undertake exercise to establish "Priority Areas of Focus for Irish Research"

    Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Innovation, Batt O'Keeffe, TD announced the membership of the high-level group to work on a five year prioritisation plan for Government investment in research and 'smart' jobs on Monday, 27 September. The exercise which will be undertaken by Forfás, under the guidance of the Steering Group, will be completed within 12 months with an action plan for each priority area setting out specific goals for the five year period.

  • 24 Sep 2010 Forfás publishes recommendations to deliver sustainable growth and jobs

    Ireland has the potential to deliver economic growth and jobs that are sustainable into the future, right across the entire economy, according to a new report from Forfás, Ireland's policy advisory board for enterprise and science. The report - acknowledging that even though the current economic climate presents challenges - emphasises that it is businesses that create jobs and drive economic growth, and it is essential that the optimum business environment is in place to allow them to do so. Making It Happen: Growing Enterprise for Ireland sets out a number of recommendations to address concerns raised by Irish enterprise and that can create this supportive environment.

  • 17 Aug 2010 Climate Change Adaptation will present Opportunities as well as Risks to Irish businesses

    Rising temperatures, increased risks of floods, wetter winters, drier summers and more intense storms are some of the climate changes anticipated to impact on Irish businesses in coming years. However changes in climate can also bring opportunities as well as risks to Irish businesses, according to a new report, Adaptation to Climate Change: Issues for Business, published today by Forfás.

  • 30 Jul 2010 Forfás publishes Review of the Role of State Owned Enterprises

    The role of state owned enterprises should be reviewed in terms of supporting wider economic growth and cannot be solely guided by how much revenue they could raise in the event of privatisation, according to a new report from Forfás, Ireland’s policy advisory board for enterprise and science.

  • 22 Jul 2010 Costs of Doing Business in Ireland 2010 Volume 1

    The Costs of Doing Business in Ireland 2010 analyses our relative cost competitiveness performance across four key business inputs – labour, property, utilities (e.g. energy, water, waste, telecoms) and business services (e.g. accountancy and legal services). It also looks at the broader cost environment that indirectly affects the cost of doing business here.

  • 20 Jul 2010 Monitoring Ireland's Skills Supply - Trends in Education and Training Outputs 2010

    Monitoring Ireland's Skills Supply - Trends in Education and Training Outputs is an annual report produced by the Skills and Labour Market Research Unit of FÁS on behalf of the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs.. This series of reports aims to provide an indication of the supply of skills to the Irish labour market from the formal education and training system by examining outflows from the formal education system across levels 1-10 of the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ).

  • 10 May 2010 Future Skills Requirements of the Wholesale and Retail Sector

    While employment growth is not forecast to return to the wholesale and retail sector in the short term, the sector continues to provide significant employment accounting for over 14 per cent of jobs in the country, according to this report.

  • 09 Feb 2010 Ireland’s Solid Enterprise Foundations and the Prioritisation of Actions for Growth and Jobs will ensure our Recovery

    2009 was an intensely challenging year for the enterprise sector and although we have not yet fully turned the corner to recovery, there are tentative signs of international economic improvement which will help Ireland in its recovery. To move towards recovery and growth we must focus on our significant strengths and the solid enterprise foundations that have been built. We must also prioritise actions that will ensure that our enterprise environment provides businesses in Ireland with the very best opportunities to compete globally.

  • 22 Jan 2010 Forfás launches broadband benchmarking report

    Ireland has made significant progress in improving levels of broadband coverage and take-up in the last two years, however, we are still behind competitor countries in terms of rolling out high speed next generation networks (NGN), according to this broadband benchmarking report.

  • 15 Dec 2009 Employing PhD Graduates Benefits Irish Enterprise

    A new report launched today by the Advisory Council for Science, Technology and Innovation (ACSTI) has found that Irish R&D firms employing PhD researchers have rates of patenting 2.5 times greater than similarly active firms which do not employ PhD researchers and have vastly higher collaboration rates with both Higher Education Institutes and other firms. While only 29% of R&D active firms employed PhD researchers in 2007, these companies accounted for 70% of business expenditure on R&D.

  • 09 Dec 2009 Ireland Ranks Well on the Impact of its Research

    A comprehensive study of publicly-funded research performance has shown that Ireland has improved in terms of the volume and impact of its research. Ireland ranks 8th on the impact of research publications within a group of 20 comparator countries, including; Denmark (1), Netherlands (3), US (4), UK (6), Finland (8), Australia (10), Singapore (13) and China (17).

  • 07 Dec 2009 NCC highlights critical competitiveness issues for exporting sectors

    Future economic growth and job creation will not be driven by the construction and retail sectors as in the past. Generating export-led growth is the only sustainable strategy to secure long term growth and prosperity. It is therefore critical that we understand the specific needs of our exporting sectors and enable them to compete successfully in international markets.

  • 20 Nov 2009 Expert Group calls for focus on skills needs of the food and drinks sector

    The Irish food and beverage processing industry will continue to provide sustainable employment as one of our major exporting sectors, according to a new report launched today by the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs (EGFSN). While employment growth is not forecast in an increasingly competitive environment, the sector will continue to provide significant direct and indirect employment. The study also identifies a number of skills challenges and makes recommendations on how they might be addressed to ensure the industry’s future success.

  • 19 Nov 2009 Life Sciences Opportunities Key to Ireland’s Return to Export-Led Growth

    The Life Sciences sector has contributed significantly to Ireland’s economic development and has real prospects for future growth, according to a report published by Forfás today. Health Life Sciences in Ireland – An Enterprise Outlook asserts that by enhancing the collaboration of the key stakeholders including industry, research institutes, the hospital system, government departments and agencies, and regulatory bodies, Ireland can emerge as a global leader in high value-added products and services based on technology, scientific expertise and clinical research excellence.

  • 02 Nov 2009 Irish labour market to benefit from increased output of education and training system

    The Expert Group on Future Skills Needs today published its annual report on the supply of skills to the Irish labour market. The report, “Monitoring Ireland’s Skills Supply: Trends in Education and Training Output”, found that while higher level participation rates declined for maths, physics and chemistry at Leaving Certificate level between 2004 and 2008, there has been an increase in higher level participation in maths and science at Junior Certificate level with the share of students achieving a grade D or more at higher level also increasing.

  • 06 Oct 2009 Reducing Energy Costs is Essential for Competitiveness - NCC

    A reliable and competitively priced supply of energy is vital to enable Irish exporters compete successfully in global markets. While recent reductions in gas and electricity prices are welcome, further, immediate action is required to improve Ireland’s ranking relative to other countries with whom we compete, according to the National Competitiveness Council on the publication of its Statement on Energy today.

  • 21 Aug 2009 Boost your Company’s Productivity Guide Launched

    “Today’s businesses are facing increased competition and are under pressure to cut costs. They face escalating labour, energy and material costs and are concerned about their business’s environmental impact. Productivity is a powerful tool to address these pressures and provide companies with the competitive edge,” said Eoin Gahan, Head of Regulation Trade and Policy Foresight, Forfás, at the launch of a joint agency productivity guide for employers and employees.

  • 19 Aug 2009 Policy decisions on waste management need to support Ireland’s competitiveness

    The 2009 update of the Forfás waste benchmarking report published today (Wednesday, 19 August 2009) confirms that Ireland continues to perform poorly relative to a selection of competitor countries and regions in meeting the waste management needs of enterprise. Waste management charges are higher in Ireland than in comparator countries, progress on developing new facilities is slow and we have a heavy reliance on landfill.

  • 13 Jul 2009 Today’s decisions will define the success of tomorrow’s enterprises

    “The incorporation of long term thinking into today’s decision making remains vital despite the pressure of urgent short term issues,” said Martin Cronin, Chief Executive, Forfás, the national policy advisory body for enterprise and science, today (Monday 13 July) at the launch of its enterprise futures report, Sharing Our Future: Ireland 2025. The report was launched at a forum where national and international delegates gathered to discuss long-term strategies for the development of enterprise in Ireland.

  • 03 Jul 2009 Skills Opportunities Identified by Expert Group

    The Expert Group on Future Skills Needs published its annual review of employment and skills in Ireland. The National Skills Bulletin 2009 confirms that while the Irish labour market took a sharp negative turn in 2008, with all labour market indicators disimproving, there are still some areas of job opportunity.

  • 01 Jul 2009 Exports and innovation key to Ireland’s future – Launch of Forfás Annual Report 2008

    “International trade is the only way Ireland can achieve a return to sustained growth. This is not an easy task as recovery can only come from increasing our share of international markets until there is a return to growth in the economies of our trading partners,” said Martin Cronin, Chief Executive, Forfás on the publication of the agency’s Annual Report 2008.

  • 25 Jun 2009 Immediate Action Needed to Restore Competitiveness

    While good progress is being made, including restoring the sustainability of the public finances and the stability of the banking sector, the National Competitiveness Council has identified further immediate actions needed to drive cost competitiveness, sustain employment and enhance training and education opportunities.

  • 21 Apr 2009 Prioritising Our Cities is Critical for Sustainable Economic Growth

    The National Competitiveness Council (NCC) today called for the prioritisation of investment in Dublin and our other main cities to enhance and ensure Ireland’s long term competitiveness. Launching the report Our Cities: Drivers of National Competitiveness, the Council highlighted the increasingly crucial role that cities play in enhancing competitiveness in modern knowledge-based economies. It is vital that Irish cities are enabled to achieve their full potential and thereby enhance national competitiveness.

  • 26 Feb 2009 “Economic recovery will come from cohesion and flexibility, not from blame and recrimination” – Forfás

    “The winners in today’s global economy will be those who pull together and demonstrate flexibility, those who adapt rapidly to remain competitive. The losers will be those who focus on blame and where sections of society seek to protect their position at the expense of others,” commented Martin Cronin, Chief Executive of Forfás, the national policy advisory body on enterprise and science, delivering the UCD Engineering Graduates Association Annual Lecture today.

  • 22 Jan 2009 Forfás End of Year Statement 2008

    Global economic turmoil has created an unprecedented economic challenge for Ireland. The enterprise sector is facing a range of acute challenges. This statement provides an overview of enterprise performance in 2008 and describes Forfás' outlook for 2009 and beyond.