Skillnets – the national agency responsible for funding and supporting training networks – has announced details of a new training fund that will support private sector businesses with the growth and competitiveness agenda by addressing their current and future skills needs.
A group of businesses from the same sector or region can collectively apply to establish a Skillnets training network, and draw down funding support for the development and delivery of training. Established training networks enable groups of businesses to work together to determine their own training needs and how, when and where training will be delivered. Participating businesses are of all sizes and the fund is also open to applications from industry federations, industry bodies or enterprise groups.
According to Brendan McGinty, Skillnets Chairman: “Ensuring Ireland has the quality and quantity of skills needed for business to grow is a key element of the Government’s economic and employment strategy. The Skillnets enterprise-led model has proven itself to be innovative and adaptable to the ever-changing needs of enterprise, supporting businesses in working together to identify and meet the skills requirements in their industry.
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 profits. Other benefits include greater staff engagement, which in itself drives employee retention in what is an increasingly competitive job market. These business benefits can be accomplished with relatively low investment through engagement with the Skillnets training network model.”
Skillnets operates under a joint investment model whereby training networks can apply to receive up to 50 per cent of the cost of training from Skillnets, and the remainder of costs are funded in matching contributions from participating businesses in the training network. Skillnets already supports over 60 training networks in a wide range of sectors including life sciences, manufacturing, information technology, food/beverage, financial and agriculture, and mixed sectoral training networks across many regions.
Speaking about the training fund Paul Healy, Skillnets Chief Executive, said: “With the Irish economy now in a growth phase an increasing number of businesses are looking to expand. Scaling a business is usually predicated on a supply of the necessary skills and talent. In the last two years our open calls for Skillnets training networks have resulted in the establishment of 15 new training networks, indicating the growing demand among businesses for relevant and innovative solutions to address skills shortages in the workplace. Skillnets is pleased to announce another new fund for Skillnets training networks this year, so that more businesses looking to grow their organisations can be supported with workforce development.”
The first closing date for the new funding call is April 3rd, with a second closing date later in the year on 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 or direct contact can be made with a member of the Skillnets team: