€2 million fund to establish new learning networks

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SKILLNET Ireland has launched its annual call for applications to set up new Skillnet learning networks in Limerick aimed at meeting business challenges and developing a highly-skilled workforce.

A Skillnet Network is a collection of businesses that collaborate on learning and training opportunities to address skills gaps within their sector or region.

With funding of up to €2m available, Skillnet Ireland is seeking applications from interested business groups and industry bodies in Limerick which will complement the work already being carried out across its 70 Skillnet Networks nationwide.

According to Brendan McGinty, Chairperson of Skillnet Ireland, the Covid-19 crisis has brought significant challenges, accelerating the pace of both business transformation and digital adoption.

“By engaging with a Skillnet Network or developing a new Skillnet Network, businesses can work together to develop a highly skilled workforce for their sector or region and be prepared for future challenges. Skillnet Ireland’s enterprise-led model offers businesses a great opportunity to collaborate and design innovative upskilling initiatives,” Mr McGinty explained.

Demand for upskilling rose by 25 per cent last year with over 18,000 businesses engaging with Skillnet Ireland to avail of subsidised training and development.

There are 70 networks already in operation across a range of sectors and regions. Industry bodies such as Chambers Ireland, IBEC, ISME and the Irish Farmers’ Association are currently engaged with Skillnet Ireland and see the benefits this brings.

“Our economy is being rapidly reshaped by the impact of Covid-19 and accelerated digitalisation. These trends are affecting how companies operate and the way work is organised.

“We are calling on business groups interested in establishing a learning network, either within a particular industry sector or region, to apply for funding to establish a new Skillnet network, giving businesses in your sector or region access to upskilling at a significantly subsidised cost. Lifelong learning has never been more relevant for business owners and employees as they need to adapt and learn new skills. Applicants will receive our full support throughout the application process,” said Chief Executive of Skillnet Ireland, Paul Healy.

New network applicants receive one-to-one support and consultation throughout the process, including virtual information sessions and workshops before the closing date for funding on November 5.

For more visit www.skillnetireland.ie.