Representatives from Skillnet Ireland will share their knowledge and insights at the 2023 ‘European Week of Regions and Cities’ event series in Brussels.
The ‘EURegionsWeek’, as it is also known, is the biggest annual event dedicated to regional policy in Europe. Running from October 9th – 12th, the event allows regions and cities to display their capacity to create growth and jobs and implement European Union Cohesion Policy.
Digital Skills for SMEs to Achieve Sustainable Local Growth, Tuesday October 10th
Mark Jordan, Skillnet Ireland Chief Strategy Officer, will moderate the panel discussion, ‘Digital Skills for SMEs to Achieve Sustainable Local Growth’. Speakers at the session will include Liz Thomas, Skillnet Ireland Strategic Programmes Consultant, Justina Bielauskaite, European Digital SME Alliance Director and Professors Minna Isomursu from the University of Oulu in Finland.
The panel will highlight the vital role that SMEs play as the backbone of local European growth and discuss the need to help SMEs seize opportunities linked to the digital transition.
This session will share impactful initiatives tailored to empower SMEs in their digital journey, such as Skillnet Ireland’s MentorsWork, the programme which provides SME Leaders with a digital pathway to business success in Ireland. The EU REBOOT SKILLS project – which is focused on delivering advanced digital skills for SMEs through university short courses – and the DIGITAL SME Alliance – the largest network of ICT (Information and Communications Technologies) SMEs in Europe – will also be highlighted at the session.
Valerie Rousselin Somerville, Skillnet Ireland EU Funding Manager, will be involved in a panel discussion on ‘Retaining Talent for Regional Growth’. The aim of the session is to discuss how to revitalise rural communities, boost local economies and reverse depopulation through successful initiatives including broadband roll-out and smart solutions. The event will showcase good practices schemes aimed at attracting young people and talent back to rural areas by leveraging tools and funds from the EU Cohesion Policy.
Skillnet Ireland – effective public-partnership model to boost local productivity in Europe, Wednesday, October 11th
Paul Healy, Skillnet Ireland Chief Executive, will discuss ‘Skillnet Ireland – effective public-private partnership model to boost local productivity in Europe’ as part of the EU Regions Talks series.
In the context of the European Year of Skills, which runs until May 2024, his talk will focus on sharing the Skillnet Ireland model, considered best practice by the OECD, showing its agility and impact in empowering local businesses to achieve the full potential of the digital and green transitions in an inclusive manner.
Through an effective public-private investment approach, Skillnet Ireland works in strong partnership with industry and academia to offer skills provisions aligned with local needs and constraints to achieve sustainable growth. Last year, upskilling and training programmes to the value of €70.2 million, were provided to almost 25,000 businesses and over 92,000 workers across the Irish economy and the regions, through our 70 Skillnet Business Networks and targeted initiatives. Companies contributed €26.5 million or 37% of the total investment towards upskilling their staff, a €4 million increase on 2021, signalling a high level of buy-in from industry sectors to develop their teams in partnership with Skillnet Ireland.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, October 11th, Aoife O’Sullivan, Skillnet Ireland Head of Network Development & Innovation, will take part in a workshop on ‘Lifelong Learning for Local Sustainable Growth: Policy and Practices for the Green Transition’. The workshop will examine a range of initiatives that empower local and regional authorities, businesses, and communities to develop the skills needed to achieve a carbon-neutral local economy.
Further information about the EU Regions Week
Since its first edition in 2003, the #EURegionsWeek has grown to become a unique communication and networking platform, bringing together regions and cities from all over Europe, including their political representatives, officials, experts and academics.
Over 10,000 participants – including more than 1,000 speakers from all over Europe and beyond – will take part in an extensive programme of conferences, exhibitions and networking events on regional and local development across the four-day event.
Learn more about the EU Regions Week over on their website.
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