Skillnet Ireland Announces New Funding for Businesses to Upskill Employees

Apr 15th, 2019

At the announcement of the Skillnet Ireland Open Call is (l-r) Paul Healy, Skillnet Ireland Chief Executive; Helen Downes, Promoter of Shannon Chamber Skillnet; Damian Hilliard, Chairperson of Technology Ireland ICT Skillnet; Tracey Donnery, Skillnet Ireland Executive Director; Caroline Cawley, Promoter of ITAG Skillnet and Conn Mc Cluskey, Promoter of the Leisure, Health and Fitness Skillnet.

Up to €2 million is being made available to businesses, industry bodies, industry federations or enterprise groups to establish a Skillnet Learning Network


Are you a business owner or HR manager? Would you like more financial assistance to upskill, train and develop yourself and your employees? Would you like to help make an impact on skills development in your region, or within your sector?

Skillnet Ireland, the national agency responsible for the promotion and facilitation of workforce learning in Ireland is today [April 15th 2019] announcing up to €2 million worth of funding which is being made available to businesses, industry bodies or enterprise groups who wish to establish a new Skillnet Learning Network.

Skillnet Networks are enterprise-led learning networks, working to support businesses, industry bodies and enterprise groups in addressing their current and future skills needs. There are currently over 65 Skillnet Networks nationwide, providing training, talent development and upskilling opportunities to workers in a variety of sectors including Technology, Medtech, Retail, Animation, Food and Drink, and agri-sector.

“Developing a new Skillnet Learning Network will give businesses the ability to address the strategic challenges and skills gaps faced within their sector or region. Together with our Skillnet Networks, we provide leadership in shaping the future of workforce development, workforce planning and workforce innovation in Ireland,” said Paul Healy, Skillnet Ireland Chief Executive.

“New technologies including AI, autonomous systems and robotics are having a significant impact on how we work and the skills required in workplaces of the future. Employers and workers need to adapt to this ever-changing work environment and ready themselves for the future. By engaging with a Skillnet Network or developing a new Skillnet network, companies can work together in developing a highly skilled workforce for their sector or region,” he added.

A group of businesses from the same sector or region can collectively apply to establish a Skillnet learning network with funding support for the development and delivery of innovative learning solutions.

Skillnet Ireland networks operate under a joint investment model whereby learning networks can apply to receive up to 50 percent of the cost of training from Skillnet Ireland, and the remainder of costs are funded in matching contributions from participating businesses in the learning network. The approach has received international recognition as a model of best practice from the OECD, amongst others. Damian Hilliard, Chairperson of Technology Ireland ICT Skillnet, and Site Leader and Senior Director of Human Resources for Hertz Europe Service Centre encourages business leaders to apply.

“This fund has been critical for many businesses to take the next step in their chosen industry, with the many macro-economic trends that face us on a daily basis. Skillnet Ireland has been able to source the highest quality trainers to make sure our staff can continue to thrive as the industry develops.

“Our membership of ICT Skillnet has allowed us to invest in a balance of skills across commercial, professional and technical competences, which are key to succeeding in the Tech industry. It has also given us the opportunity to open new avenues of networking that were once not there but have become hugely beneficial.”

Skillnet Ireland is now looking for applications from new groups of ambitious businesses aiming to address challenges through up-skilling and re-skilling. Applications for funding are open until September 30th 2019. To learn more about this opportunity and to apply, visit

Skillnet Ireland is also holding information sessions for businesses, industry bodies or enterprise groups wishing to learn how they can establish a Skillnet Network. The first information session will take place on May 22nd in Athlone Co. Westmeath. The second will take place on May 23rd in Dublin. The sessions are free, but you must register to attend. To register, visit

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