IRD Duhallow Skillnet

The concept of a Duhallow Skillnet came about when our Enterprise Working Group identified a need to further develop the skillsets of Rural Entrepreneurs and their Employees.

In May of 2015 we were awarded a successful application for funding through the Department of Education and Skills initiative Skillnets to run formal training courses to promote ongoing learning for businesses. Through this, we are promoting the preservation and growth of jobs, focusing on skills to maintain businesses and protect jobs as well as the enhancement of new skills to create new jobs. The idea behind this geographic skill net is to offer training to struggling businesses and by providing training locally, overcome the cost of travel expenses, staff time on the clock and overnight stays. We are applying a cross sectoral approach by offering training to a wide variety of local industries including Tourism, Retail, Craft, Food, Manufacture, Professional Services and Construction, and planned training courses include CRM Systems and Business Practices, Occupational First Aid, Chainsaw Training, Forklift Training, Confined Space Operations and Care of the Elderly.

Duhallow Skillnet will also focus on developing the skillset of unemployed individuals to create a resource pool of employees to fill knowledge gaps presented by businesses on the ground. Having surveyed 294 unemployed people (of which 23% were long term unemployed), we have identified that 77% of individuals are willing to fully retrain to increase their employment prospects. However, 15% noted that the financial burden would prevent them and 28% reported transport to and from training centres as the major barrier to their participation. By running training locally, we will be in a position to overcome many of these issues and the training will be offered free to those who are unemployed. Our target is to have a cohort of a minimum of 17% unemployed trainees within the Duhallow Skillnet.

For further information on the Duhallow Skillnet Programme contact Louise Bourke @ 029 60633 or visit the Upcoming Events Section on this website.

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