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Clare firms benefit from Skillnets

More and more businesses in Clare are prioritising staff training and retention as they compete for the talent needed to expand their enterprise.

That’s the message from Skillnets – the national agency responsible for funding and supporting training networks – as it launched its annual report for 2015 today (Wednesday).

Figures from the report reveal that the number of businesses in Clare accessing Skillnets supported training grew by a massive 34% in 2015, with 398 businesses investing in their staff across a range of sectors.

In Clare, 1,222 trainees availed of 9,556 training days delivered to businesses during 2015.Nationally, 85% of the businesses that benefited from investment in training through Skillnets in 2015 were SMEs, with 250 staff or under.

According to Skillnets chairman, Brendan McGinty, businesses are battling for talent in a competitive marketplace, resulting in many looking inwards to develop existing resources to meet their growth objectives.

“Behind the country’s pattern of economic growth during 2015, thousands of Irish and foreign-owned businesses have expanded to meet increased demand by investing in their workforce. A renewed focus on lifelong learning is also fast becoming a priority for employers as a key tool for retaining staff.

“During 2015, Skillnets member businesses invested €11.7m towards programmes, with Skillnets investing a further €13.9m, totalling €25.6m investment in training for enterprise. By investing in subsidised training through Skillnets and developing their people, employers can harness the power of their existing internal resources to improve both the capability and competiveness of the organisation.”

Skillnets CEO Paul Healy further added, “For businesses, it’s not just about investing in workforce training alone, the quality and impact of the learning experience is critical for adding maximum long-term value. Undertaking detailed training needs analysis, forecasting market trends and projecting future skills requirements are all core elements of the Skillnet proposition. Ninety percent of participating businesses surveyed recently by independent consultants Indecon reported that the design of Skillnets training was highly relevant to their business development needs.”

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