An evaluation report launched today by Mr. Ciarán Cannon T.D., Minister for Training and Skills, on a pilot programme run by Skillnets at the end of 2010 for 279 job-seekers, reported that one in five trainee’s secured employment within 4-8 weeks of completing the Job-seekers Support Programme (JSSP). This programme was aimed solely at unemployed people and key features were the provision of skills which are in demand by industry combined with direct access to employers through meaningful work placements.
At the launch of the report today, Minister Cannon said "The unique advantage Skillnets has is the ability for network companies to group together and source the training actually needed. Skillnets has recognised early on the role they can play in adapting their successful training model to cater for the unemployed as well as the employed. The pilot Job-seekers Support Programme (JSSP) blended training with workplace experience and gave unemployed trainees greater access to potential employers. A core strength of the programme was its ability to draw on the excellent relationships built up over time that network managers have with their member companies and which enables them to organise high quality work placements for the trainees".
Of the other trainees who progressed since completing the programme, 23% moved into further training, 28% secured an interview in a related role and 2% established their own business. In total 4,226 training days were delivered and on average, each trainee benefitted from 15 full days of training. Over half of these trainees were young unemployed (i.e. aged under 35) and were long-term unemployed, having been out of work for over a year. There was a strong emphasis on accredited training in order to boost trainees’ employability and 80% of the training programmes were either certified by industry or accredited by FETAC.
Domhnall Mac Domhnaill, Skillnets Chairman, said “In this pilot programme unemployed people have been included in Skillnets training programmes giving the unemployed "real time" access to training and experience. The benefits that accrue from the use of the Skillnets model to increase the employability of those affected by the downturn is evident with 22% of trainees’ securing employment from the pilot Job-seekers Support programme equating to a cost of approximately €2,795 per job created. This figure compares very favourably with the annual cost to the Exchequer of supporting an unemployed person (circa. €20,000). We received excellent feedback from trainees about the quality of training, and the impact the pilot Job-seekers Support Programme (JSSP) had on connecting unemployed people with employers and the workplace. Companies hosting work placements also endorsed the initiative. 91% of the companies surveyed were satisfied/very satisfied with the quality of placements and the benefits to their company”.
The Department of Education and Skills (DES) has approved the mainstreaming of the Job-seekers Support Programme (JSSP) in 2011. Skillnets networks are currently applying for this stream of funding and delivery of training programmes with work placement will commence from June 2011. In the meantime job-seekers can search for free training courses with Skillnets networks in a variety of regions and sectors on http://www.skillnets.ie/job-seekers/find-course.
Skillnets funds and facilitates training through over 50 networks of private sector companies, in a range of sectors and regions. Each network delivers training that is relevant to specific industry and member company needs.
NOTES TO THE EDITOR
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Programme Scope & Objectives
The key objectives of the JSSP are as follows:
- Increase employability by training the unemployed to re-enter their previous sector of employment or transfer into alternative sectors
- Blend training with workplace experience so as to embed the learning and give the unemployed access to employers
- Leverage the relationships network managers have with companies within their network to organise high quality work placements for the trainees
- Assist member companies, particularly SMEs, to develop a talent pool of skilled people for the purposes of recruitment
- Target priority unemployed groups:
- Persons unemployed for more than 12 months
- Persons educated to Level 5 or less on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ)
- Persons under the age of 34
- Persons formerly employed in the construction, manufacturing and retail sectors
- Persons wishing to pursue a career in ICT, having been formerly employed in a different sector, who require conversion programme(s)
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON SKILLNETS
Skillnets is a state funded, enterprise-led support body dedicated to the promotion and facilitation of training and upskilling as key elements in sustaining Ireland's national competitiveness.
We support and fund networks of enterprises to engage in training under the Training Networks Programme (TNP). These networks are led and managed by the enterprises themselves to design, manage and deliver specific training programmes across a broad range of industry and service sectors nationwide.
Since 1999, Skillnets has facilitated over 50,000 Irish enterprises, in over 300 networks to improve the range, scope and quality of training and allowed over 240,000 employees to upskill and meet their work related training needs.
Types of training
Accounting/Financial, Customer relations, Sales & Marketing, Executive Development, Managerial/Supervisory, Professional, Interpersonal Communication, Language, IT, New Employee Orientation, Health & Safety, Product knowledge, Quality Competition and Business Practices and Technical processes.
Agriculture, Business, Construction, Engineering, Environmental Goods & Services, Food & Drink, Green Technology, Health, ICT Manufacturing & Services, Financial Services, Life Sciences, Manufacturing, Media/audiovisual, Mixed, Pharmaceutical, Retail, Services, Technology, Tourism & Travel, Transportation and Wholesale trade.