The Skillnets Annual Report 2010 reports that in 2010 €17.3 million was invested in developing the skills of over 39,000 people in Ireland. Skillnets proactively responds to enterprise needs by focusing on facilitating the changing needs of employers through best practice training, while simultaneously meeting the needs of the unemployed. €8.4 million was invested from the National Training Fund (NTF) and €8.9 million from companies. Trainees benefitted from over 185,000 training days, delivered by over 60 Skillnet networks across the country.
Domhnall MacDomhnaill, Chairman of Skillnets, said that “Over the last 18 months the strategic direction of Skillnets has been adapted and fine-tuned to respond to the need for investment in our people, both employed and unemployed, to develop sustainable economic growth for the country. Improving the skills and competencies of our workforce will be critical in our efforts to attract substantial levels of foreign direct investment and to enable our domestic companies to continue to compete with the best in the world. 94% of companies funded by Skillnets are classified as SMEs. These are the companies that the economy is depending on to kick start economic growth. I am pleased to report that Skillnets is playing its part in supporting these SMEs.
In a 2010 survey with member companies more than four out of five companies (82%) agreed that Skillnets training helped them to fill skill gaps whilst 68% agreed that it improved productivity. A high proportion of companies reported that Skillnets training helped to achieve market developments such as enhancements to products and services (70%). 84% agreed that Skillnets training represents good value for money and 89% agreed that they would recommend to other companies to join a Skillnet network.