The Skillnets Annual Report 2011 published today, reports that in 2011 €22.6 million was invested in developing the skills of over 42,113 people in Ireland. Skillnets supports training networks across the country with resources and expertise to design and deliver training solutions that contribute to competiveness and the employability of employees and job-seekers. €12.1 million was invested from the National Training Fund (NTF) and €10.5 million from companies. Trainees benefitted from over 221,682 training days, delivered by 72 Skillnet networks across the country. Over 41,000 of those training days were delivered to job-seekers.
In a 2011 survey with member companies, nearly all companies (97%) agreed that the training has helped them to fill skill gaps, whilst 87% agreed that it has contributed to improved productivity – nearly half of these companies said it made a significant or high impact in improving productivity (44% of respondents). A high proportion of respondents also reported that Skillnets training has contributed to market developments such as enhancements to products and services (83%) and in some cases, expansion in existing markets (55%) or entry into new markets (49%).
Domhnall MacDomhnaill, Chairman of Skillnets, said that “Over recent years, SMEs in particular have been severely impacted by declining demand at home and abroad and have endured difficult times, but it has been said and proven time and time again that in Ireland SMEs are the critical link between economic growth and employment growth. 94% of companies funded by Skillnets are classified as SMEs and despite difficult times, these SMEs have continued to invest in training with the support of Skillnets, with an increase in the level of investment relative to earlier years.”
CEO Alan Nuzum added “Labour market activation is now a key part of Skillnets ongoing strategic goals and in response to delivering tomorrow’s skills needs, this report features some really strong examples of networks responding to skills shortages and new emerging technologies and sectors. A recent independent evaluation report by the CIRCA Group indicates that the number of jobs secured by unemployed trainees through our training programmes generated a saving of €9.3m to the exchequer which gives a return on investment of 232% for the exchequer
Skillnets also actively engaged with supporting labour market activation measures such as JobBridge with a number of member companies providing internships to job-seekers. We are also responding to redundancies by initiating a rapid response to those affected, offering relevant training supports that are designed and in demand from enterprise. In 2011 we invested €250,000 into the provision of training for TalkTalk employees. Over 100 trainees secured employment with member companies and a further 30 trainees went on to establish their own businesses”.
In 2011, 5,875 job-seekers in total availed of 41,232 training days through our supports for job-seekers and our pilot Job-seekers Support Programme (JSSP), which blended training with workplace experience and gave unemployed trainees greater access to potential employers.
Full report available to download on http://www.skillnets.ie/publications/annual-report-2011
For further information contact: Sinéad McGovern
Tel: 01 2079630, Mobile: 086 3791330 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org