Skillnets, a state-funded, enterprise-led support body that has facilitated enterprise training since 1999, has announced that it is investing up to €250,000 into the immediate provision of training for former TalkTalk employees. Training programmes will commence today (17.10.11) and most will include a work placement. It is intended that the training will hone the skills of former employees to enable them to take up employment opportunities in other specialist call centres around the country and in other sectors in the south-east region.
A total of 270 of the former TalkTalk staff have indicated their interest in availing of the Skillnets training programmes, which amount to 2,000 training days in total.
Training is being delivered through two of Skillnets’ training networks: the CCMA Ireland Skillnet and Waterford Chamber Skillnet. Already a number of call centre companies including Taxback.com, Intellicom, South Western, VoxPro, UPC and VHI Kilkenny have offered job placements to former TalkTalk staff as part of the Skillnets training programme package, and it is expected that this will lead to some job offers in the near future. Training programmes are also being offered in entrepreneurship and business skills for people interested in pursuing careers in alternative fields.
Carl Blake, Senior Programme Manager at Skillnets said: “As soon as Skillnets learned of the job losses, both of our networks undertook training needs analysis with TalkTalk employees and identified relevant skills in demand by industry. This also involved working closely with the human resources team at TalkTalk to rapidly identify the skills sets which could help move some of the redundant workforce into alternative jobs in the call centre sector.
“Not all former employees at TalkTalk may wish to seek re-employment in a call centre and, for this reason, a diverse range of training courses have been designed to enable people to work in other sectors or even establish their own businesses. These courses commence immediately, with the majority based in Waterford, including some on-site in the former TalkTalk operations centre.”
Courses on offer include Customer Service, Broadband Service Skills and Frontline Technical Support for call centres. Courses on offer for those looking for a career change include Creativity for Entrepreneurship, Start your own Business and Project Management.
Ciarán Cannon T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Education and Skills, today welcomed the speed and efficiency with which Skillnets responded to the redundancies in TalkTalk. “The Government is putting together a diverse range of measures to help former TalkTalk staff. I am delighted that Skillnets, which is funded from the National Training Fund through the Department of Education and Skills (DES), and their networks, have reacted rapidly to put in place a very positive, tangible and relevant response to the up-skilling and reskilling needs of the redundant workforce.”
Minister Cannon went on to say: “It is commendable that Skillnets, its member networks and TalkTalk staff have been able to bring their experience and their resources together and develop a realistic co-ordinated plan to up-skill and re-skill former staff. My earnest hope is that this initiative will enable the TalkTalk workers to compete for existing and emerging vacancies in both current and alternative sectors. I understand there has also been a strong demand for courses in entrepreneurship and starting a business which the Skillnets networks will be providing."
According to the outgoing TalkTalk Senior Human Resources Manager, Mary Ryan: “Skillnets has a long history of providing tailored, focused and really useful training that is designed around the requirements of business and so is ideal for job-seekers. We have built up a valuable working relationship with Skillnets over the years. They very quickly and proactively reached out when news of the proposed closure was announced. Since then, they have worked hard to offer a range of courses to employees and they have moved fast to ensure these can be up and running soon.”
To find out further details on courses, how to apply and timetable for delivery contact CCMA Ireland Skillnet on 01 2911960 www.ccma.ie or Waterford Chamber Skillnet 051 311131 www.waterfordskillnet.ie.