Skillnet Ireland has today launched their new strategyTransforming Business Through Talent 2021-2025. The strategy sets out ambitious targets over the course of the next five years to increase the organisation’s engagement with business and industry, double the numbers participating in talent development programmes and focus on the challenges of digital transformation and climate change.

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris said:

“The launch of Skillnet Ireland’s five-year strategy is a key milestone in Ireland’s economic recovery and growth. It is designed to help our businesses and workers prepare for the future world of work, meet the demands of digital transformation and climate change, and drive innovation within Ireland’s businesses. Having a skilled and agile workforce is essential to how we respond to current and future business challenges.

I welcome the strategic emphasis that Skillnet Ireland is giving to the innovation ecosystem in Ireland over the coming years, by promoting industry and academia collaborations to address future skills and producing valuable industry insights and research. I look forward to working with Skillnet Ireland and its enterprise partners on the implementation of this ambitious strategy to support the transformation of Irish business through talent.”

Speaking at the launch of the new strategy Brendan McGinty, Chairperson of Skillnet Ireland said:

“At Skillnet Ireland we are building a world class, enterprise-led organisation to prepare businesses and workers for the future of work. The experience and expertise we have gained over the last 20 years and models we have developed will support us in helping business to recover, transform and grow. We are proud of the work we do to support businesses, the majority of which are small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). 

We are ambitious for Ireland and for Irish enterprise and our new strategy reflects the need for Ireland to have a highly skilled and agile workforce. Skillnet Ireland will drive that agenda, both in terms of increasing numbers of businesses supported and expanding into new areas. We are doing this by setting ourselves ambitious targets, focussed on the three key themes of Workforce Design, People Development and Strategic Innovation.”

The new strategy seeks to expand Skillnet Ireland’s ongoing activities by increasing the number of businesses supported by Skillnet Ireland to 30,000 annually by 2025. Skillnet Ireland will also provide supports to 100,000 workers annually by the end of 2025 and double the investment in upskilling the Irish workforce to €100 million annually.

Amongst the new initiatives contained within the strategy, Skillnet Ireland has identified two new key initiatives for the next five years across the areas of digital transformation and the implications of climate change for the Irish workforce. The strategy highlights the importance of introducing greater digitalisation of processes and seeks to develop the skills needed as Ireland transitions to a low carbon and environmentally sustainable economy.

Paul Healy, Chief Executive of Skillnet Ireland, said:

“We are delighted to launch our new five-year Strategy ‘Transforming Business Through Talent’ today. As we navigate the future and the challenges it brings, we must equip businesses with the right talent to ensure they are fit for purpose. Our activity over the next five years will deliver a fourfold increase in innovation themed workforce development projects.

The digital agenda and climate action are key drivers of change, and this strategy, and its enabling plans, speak to these in a really clear way. We look forward to working with businesses to support the talent demands for building a low-carbon and sustainable economy through our enterprise-driven climate action upskilling initiative. We will also work with our partners to address the need for greater digitalisation of processes as we all move towards a more digital future.”

The Covid -19 pandemic has highlighted some of the extra challenges facing businesses. Since the onset of the pandemic Skillnet Ireland has implemented a series of new initiatives which have supported, and will continue to support, Irish businesses and the workforce who have been most impacted by the pandemic.

Paul Healy, Chief Executive of Skillnet Ireland, added:

“We are putting in place a five-year strategy that will focus on equipping businesses with the talent they need to tackle the significant challenges they face. This has never been more important than today, as we continue to grapple with the economic impacts of Covid-19. We have responded to the needs of businesses from the very beginning of this crisis, supporting organisations struggling because of the pandemic to pivot into new sectors.

‘Transforming Business Through Talent 2021-2025’ was informed by an extensive multi-stakeholder consultation working with industry partners and peer organisations to deliver a strategy that will develop Ireland’s future workforce. 
Learn more about the strategy by clicking here. 


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