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Professor Irene Sheridan was the Guest Speaker at the IDA/DELL Education Ireland Summit

Professor Irene Sheridan was the Guest Speaker at the IDA/DELL Education Ireland Summit

28 August, 2017

Last week our own Professor Irene Sheridan was the Guest Speaker at the IDA/DELL Education Ireland Summit.  The audience included industry academia and policy makers.  Irene challenged the audience to think about the role of the industry as well as the academic institution in forming the graduate. 

She explored often-misused terms such as skills shortages and skills mismatches and pointed to research indicating the need for a strong binary education system.  By drawing attention to the tendency to conflate ‘education’ with ‘skills’ the role of the employer and the workplace itself in the development of the graduate was underlined.  Pointing to the particular problems experienced in recruiting STEM talent recent research on the participation of women was considered. 

A proliferation of policy and strategy documents stress the importance of engagement interactions between industry and academia; but as Irene pointed out, her experience in working at this interface for the last decade illustrates the importance of relationships, resources and realistic expectations on both sides for effective mutually-beneficial, long-term partnerships.