Meeting the future skills needs of Irish small and medium-sized businesses and responding to the challenges and opportunities of Brexit will be key priorities for Skillnets, the enterprise-led agency with responsibility for the promotion and facilitation of workplace training and up-skilling, in the coming years.
That was the view of the agency’s chairman, Brendan McGinty, when launching the Skillnets Statement of Strategy 2016 – 2019. The strategy was developed following a thorough consultation process with key stakeholders and is closely aligned to the National Skills Strategy 2025 and other relevant policies.
Skillnets, of which Shannon Chamber Skillnet is a member, delivers enterprise-led training programmes nationally for workers and job-seekers through a subsidised training networks scheme. Over the next four years, the Agency will focus firmly on supporting enterprise growth and development.
In line with Skillnets policy, Shannon Chamber Skillnet, which has recently received approval to run a second year of training in 2017, will be playing an increased role in maintaining a supply of the specific and future skills that impact on the growth potential of companies in the greater Shannon area.
As Shannon Chamber’s chief executive Helen Downes states: “By working on the ground with our member companies, we are exceptionally well placed with the intelligence and insights to ensure training interventions are relevant to the needs of enterprise and are of a high standard.
“For example, our training programme for 2017, which is currently being developed, has been informed by a training needs analysis survey undertaken by our member companies and approved by our Steering Group, which is representative of member companies.
“In our first year of operating a Skillnets (September 2015 to end August 2016) Shannon Chamber Skillnet delivered 40 training programmes to 319 executives in 114 member companies and provided training to 20 unemployed as well as launching a a new ‘Lunch and Learn’ series,which was introduced to give busy executives an overview of some of the key skills critical in business today. All programmes involved cross-sectoral training with representatives from a broad range of sectors attending courses.
“As a key contributor to the Action Plan for Jobs 2015-2017 and a member of the Implementation Committee, Shannon Chamber is acutely aware of the need ‘to position the Mid-West as the best location in Ireland for integrating skills provision with enterprise requirements’ and to retain and upskill the pool of talent currently employed by member companies.
“Through a constant two-way communication process and an open-door policy, Shannon Chamber has received direct feedback as to the benefit of the training providing through its Skillnet,” added Ms Downes.
Shannon Chamber Skillnet’s 2017 Training Programme will be launched in January 2017.
An overview of the Skillnets Statement of Strategy 2016-2019 – Strategic Review Summary, is provided below: