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At the new programme launch, from left: Brendan McGinty, chairman of Skillnets; Minister of State for Skills, Research and Innovation, Damien English; Ann Ledwith, University of Limerick; Caoimhe O'Donnell, Aviation Finuas Network ICBE; and Tom Caffrey, Shannon Aerospace ICBE.

Skillnets can help Clare businesses

A call has gone out to Clare businesses to be ready to avail of a new programme to brighten their future.

Skillnets, the national agency responsible for funding and supporting training networks, has launched a new training fund aimed at private sector companies to assist businesses in addressing their current and future skills needs.

A group of businesses from the same region, or specialising in the same sector, can collectively apply to develop a Skillnets training network, and draw down funding support for the development and delivery of training. Businesses can be of any size, from a sole trader to multi-national, and the fund will also be open to existing industry federations, industry bodies or enterprise groups.

Speaking at the launch, Alan Nuzum, CEO of Skillnets, said, “The economy is now in recovery mode and many businesses in Clare are moving from a hand-to-mouth approach to looking towards growth and expansion. Having the appropriate skills, including addressing future skill needs to deal with expansion, is vital for sustainable development. Skillnets is pleased to announce a new call for Skillnets training networks so that enterprises emerging from the downturn can be assisted in skills development.”

The total fund available for new networks is initially €350,000, with potential for further expansion of the fund. Skillnets operates under a joint investment model whereby participating training networks can apply to receive up to 50% of the cost of training from Skillnets, and the remainder of costs are funded in cash contributions from participating companies in the training network.

There are two closing dates for the new funding call: March 23 and July 31.

Skillnets already supports 57 training networks in a wide range of sectors ranging from manufacturing to information technology and food / beverage to name some and mixed sectoral training networks across many regions.

Full details are available on www.skillnets.ie/funding.

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