Skillnets has launched four new networks today to address the emerging skills needs in the MedTech, Design, Hospitality, and Freight and Logistics sectors.
The national enterprise-led agency with responsibility for the promotion and facilitation of training networks also announced funding for more new Skillnets networks in 2017.
Skillnets works with 60 groups of private enterprises, particularly SMEs, in sectors and regions across the country to address emerging skills needs, through bespoke programmes and qualifications across sectors ranging from retail, to agri-business, ICT, engineering, and pharma to construction.
Brendan McGinty, Skillnets Chairman commented on the launch, "Investment at enterprise level in the skills of employees can help businesses to remain competitive, and can create significant additional value such as improved productivity and increased employee engagement."
"Our model is embedded in enterprise and we are flexible in our approach to enterprise-led training. We can move quickly to address skill needs across Irish businesses and respond to these ever-changing demands. We are delighted to launch these four new networks and would encourage other groups to engage with Skillnets."
The Big Picture
Paul Healy, Chief Executive, Skillnets added: “Establishing these four new networks is a direct response to labour market policy and will assist in addressing recommendations made by the Government’s Expert Group on Future Skill Needs.
Meanwhile, Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton, TD said: "Ensuring Ireland has the quality and quantity of skills needed for businesses to grow is a key element of the Government’s economic and employment strategy. Up-skilling within SMEs must be accelerated right across every sector and region if we are to deliver our jobs growth target of creating 200,000 additional jobs by 2020.
"The new networks launched today in the Medtech, Design, Hospitality and Freight and Logistics sectors are closely aligned with labour market policy and will facilitate the strengthening of the skills base in these sectors."
Dr. Áine Fox, Senior Executive of Irish MedTech Association at IBEC and Promoter of Internet of Medical Things Skillnets - she said this initiative, "Will address the skills needs arising from the convergence of medical technologies, pharmaceuticals, information technology and software within the new field of connected health. Revolutionary changes in the commercial model used by healthcare systems globally through the move to value-based healthcare – means Ireland needs to develop a world class medtech hub to maximise emerging job opportunities."
Denise O’Connor, Managing Director of Optimise Design welcomed the Design Enterprise programme: "Design Enterprise Skillnet aims to support the skills base in the design business sector, especially in growth areas such as user experience (UX), digital design and service design, to strengthen competitiveness in a very dynamic marketplace. Ongoing up-skilling is a requirement for design businesses to scale and export."
The Restaurants Association of Ireland said the new hospitality initiative will support job growth - and the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport seeks to grow Ireland's skill base in the international trade and domestic freight transportation sectors through the logistics programme.
A group of businesses from the same sector or region can collectively apply to establish a Skillnets training network.
This current funding call is also open to applications from industry federations, industry bodies or enterprise groups. The closing date for this new funding call is Monday April 3rd. A second funding call is planned for later in the year with a closing date of October 3rd.
For groups of businesses interested in developing a new training network and applying for the training fund, full details are available on www.skillnets.ie/funding.