EU Commission recommends Ireland take action on childcare and digital skills
Speaking in Dublin today, Joost Korte, Director General of DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion at the European Commission said: “Access to affordable, full-time quality childcare in Ireland remains difficult and is the most expensive in the EU for lone parents and second highest for couples. These factors have a negative effect on women's employment rate which stood at 65.4 % in 2016. The Single Affordable Childcare Scheme approved in December 2017 is an important initiative that needs to be swiftly implemented.”
Mr Koorte also drew attention to the low levels of people of working age with basic digital skills in Ireland.
Mr Korte praised the Irish Government, the Social Partners and Civil Society, for the progress made in implementing the 2017 Country Specific Recommendations: “The recovery of the Irish labour market since the height of the crisis has been truly remarkable and the current employment figures mean that the country will in all likelihood meet the 2020 target of 75%.”
Mr Koorte was addressing a seminar on the “2018 European Semester: Inclusive Growth and Social Fairness for Ireland and Europe”. The seminar was jointly organised by the Institute of International and European Affairs (IIEA) and the European Commission Representation in Ireland.
A keynote speech was also made by Regina Doherty T.D., the Minister for Employment Affairs & Social Protection. Other speakers included Marie Sherlock, Chief Economist at SIPTU, Tony Donohue, Head of Education and Social Policy at Ibec and Dan O'Brien, Chief Economist at the IIEA.
The European Commission’s 2018 Country Specific Recommendations (CSRs) set out its economic policy guidance for Ireland and other Member States for the next 12 to 18 months. More information, including a link to the Country Specific Recommendations for Ireland, is available here.
Mr Koorte’s speech is available here.