Upskill To Keep Your Competitive Advantage

25 Jun 2018 | 04.15 pm

Upskill To Keep Your Competitive Advantage

Skillnet Ireland's learning networks can help businesses boost their skills-sets

25 Jun 2018 | 04.15 pm

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Skillnet Ireland supports more than 65 Learning Networks that help 15,000 companies to develop essential skills for their businesses

Most Irish businesses, large and small, recognise the value of lifelong learning and skills development, but in practice, investing in the training of staff is often not prioritised or perhaps even viewed as a luxury. However, training and upskilling are key elements in keeping companies competitive in both a domestic and international context.

Competing Priorities

SME business owner-managers operate in work environments with rich opportunities for learning. At the same time, they are faced with a multitude of competing priorities on a daily basis. With so much focus necessary to keep day-to-day operations flowing, it can be hard to make room for more strategic planning. Time and resource pressures are often barriers to training and professional development in small businesses.

How Can Skillnet Ireland Help?

Skillnet Ireland is the national agency responsible for the promotion of workforce learning in Ireland. We support more than 65 Learning Networks nationwide, who work in partnership with 15,000 companies each year to develop essential skills for their businesses.

Each Skillnet Learning Network offers a flexible approach and works with businesses to source and part-fund training partners to provide relevant upskilling where and when a business needs it.

Eddie Rocket’s Staff Training

When Eddie Rocket’s wanted to improve its customer service, it engaged with the Irish Franchising Skillnet to provide training that would help the company enhance its reputation. According to George Bertram, the company’s Commercial Director:

“Our staff are empowered to make the customer happier. Ongoing training has enabled them to make effective decisions, which in turn enhances our reputation and gives us an edge in a very competitive marketplace. The Skillnet funding can make all the difference. It comes down to whether we can do the training or not.”

Every business can find a Skillnet Network to address their skills needs. Companies can find a Network that has experience in their sector or region and that understands their specific business needs.

Upskilling at CBE

For example, CBE, a supplier of electronic point of sale solutions, finds that its team needs to upskill regularly to keep up with the speed of technological change. Speaking about the value of training provided by ITAG Skillnet, TJ McHugh, Research and Development Director at CBE, commented:

“In our line of work, we need to upskill quickly and regularly. It is incredibly difficult to access high quality technical and specialist training locally. Courses offered by ITAG Skillnet are cost-effective, very well coordinated and are exactly what we need, specifically focused on what we want our people to upskill in.”

Next Steps

Skillnet Ireland Chief Executive Paul Healy encourages employers to prioritise staff development to ensure future growth and competitiveness.

“The world of work is changing rapidly and as a result, people’s skills are becoming dated more quickly. Employers are distracted by myriad priorities and responsibilities and often don’t give staff training the emphasis it needs. If Ireland is to remain globally competitive, all employers need to prioritise investment in lifelong learning, now and into the future.”

If you would like your organisation to grow and succeed, get in touch with Skillnet Ireland and avail of a wide range of funding, supports and training services to assist your team.

For further information, visit www.skillnetireland.ie

 

Photo (l-r): Skillnet Ireland Chief Executive Paul Healy, Chairperson Brendan McGinty, Executive Director Tracey Donnery, and Richard Bruton, Minister for Education

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