More­com­pa­nies up-skillingth­eir staffmem­bers

Bray People - - NEWS -

WICK­LOW com­pa­nies are tak­ing up op­por­tu­ni­ties for train­ing and up-skilling of staff to meet busi­ness needs.

Fig­ures from the An­nual Re­port of Skill­nets, the na­tional agency re­spon­si­ble for fund­ing and sup­port­ing over 60 learn­ing net­works na­tion­wide, re­veal that the num­ber of busi­nesses ac­cess­ing sub­sidised train­ing in Wick­low grew by seven per cent, with over 245 busi­nesses in­vest­ing in their staff across a range of sec­tors.

Across Ire­land, over 14,000 busi­nesses are in­vest­ing in their staff. Ninety-two per­cent of the mem­ber com­pa­nies that ben­e­fited from in­vest­ment in train­ing through Skill­nets in 2016 were SMEs.

‘The de­vel­op­ment and re­ten­tion of skilled tal­ent is crit­i­cal to the com­pet­i­tive­ness and growth of the Ir­ish econ­omy and to the firms that un­der­pin it,’ ac­cord­ing to Skill­nets Chair­man Bren­dan McGinty.

‘2016 was a pos­i­tive year for Skill­nets, €25.9m was in­vested in learn­ing and de­vel­op­ment through Skill­nets net­works with mem­ber com­pa­nies com­mit­ting €12.8m, and a co-in­vest­ment from Skill­nets of a fur­ther €13.1m. A grow­ing de­mand for the Skill­nets of­fer­ing was ev­i­dent with over 50,000 trainees par­tic­i­pat­ing across all of our pro­grammes. A greater in­vest­ment in the up-skilling of our en­ter­prise lead­ers and em­ploy­ees will be a cen­tral com­po­nent of our re­sponse to the chal­lenges within our econ­omy, in­clud­ing Brexit.’

The An­nual Re­port also points to some of the key chal­lenges fac­ing Ir­ish in­dus­try in the year ahead. One of the aims of Ire­land’s Na­tional Skills Strat­egy 2025 is to pro­mote the ben­e­fits of life­long learn­ing among in­di­vid­u­als, the self-em­ployed and em­ploy­ers.

Skill­nets Chief Ex­ec­u­tive, Paul Healy high­lighted the im­por­tance of life­long learn­ing across all sec­tors.

‘Em­bed­ding a cul­ture of life­long learn­ing within SMEs in Ire­land re­mains a con­sid­er­able chal­lenge that will re­quire a deep and sus­tained ef­fort. The SME sec­tor rep­re­sents over 200,000 en­ter­prises em­ploy­ing 1.3 mil­lion peo­ple. To en­able com­pet­i­tive­ness and growth, em­ploy­ers need to en­gage more deeply in work­force de­vel­op­ment,’ he said.

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