“I think the battle for the future in terms of our international competitiveness isn’t going to be based around where the big factory gets located. It is actually going to be based around people, skills, talent”
Simon Harris has one of the longest job titles in government, but he says he is essentially the Minister for Skills. Now free from daily crisis management in the Department of Health, he argues that his new role is about helping to prevent a lost generation by redefining how people view skills, training and further education. In this podcast with Stephen Kinsella, The Currency’s Chief Economics Writer and a former acting chair of the Higher Education Authority, Harris outlines his agenda for third-level and further education, addressing issues such as lifelong learning, digital literacy, gender diversity and the rigidity of the university system.