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Skillnet Ireland, Learnovate, and Cisco are partnering to create a unique national skills platform, the first of its kind in Ireland.

Workshops held with Irish companies identified a shortage of core digital and data skills as an issue affecting industry. This project aims to provide solutions to the common challenges faced by Irish companies and to help address the digital skills gap in Ireland.

The first phase of the research will inform the development of a prototype of the skills platform. The platform will focus on developing core digital and data skills and matching individuals to roles that suit their skills. It will include a self-assessment tool for users to analyse their capabilities, standardize digital skills required for different job roles, identify skill gaps for a particular role, and recommend learning journey maps.

Digital and data talent – key to economic growth

Mark Jordan, Chief Strategy Officer, Skillnet Ireland said:

“Talent in the areas of digital and data is a major focus for Skillnet Ireland and is key to the growth of our economy. This innovative platform will help address the shortage of digital and data skills and how Irish businesses go about developing their people, while using technology to transform upskilling delivery methods. By bringing together the key industry, higher education and research players, including IDA Ireland, this partnership with Learnovate and Cisco will lead to greater capacity for innovation across all sectors and increased opportunities for digital upskilling for Ireland’s workforce.”

The project coincides with the beginning of the European Year of Skills and the EU’s Digital Decade plan in 2023. The Digital Decade aims to prioritise people in digital transformation by ensuring that at least 80% of the population has developed basic digital skills.

Developing the next generation workforce

Nessa McEniff, Centre Director, Learnovate said:

“Learnovate is excited to partner with Skillnet Ireland and Cisco to deliver a research project that so closely aligns with our research agenda on the future of work and learning and helps cement Ireland’s global status as leaders in the development of the next generation workforce.”

Shane Heraty, Managing Director, Cisco Ireland & Scotland said:

“With businesses, public services and education relying on technology more than ever before, digital skills are now critical for jobs in almost every industry and for the wider economy. We urgently need to reskill and upskill the nation to power the next decade of digital innovation, boost the digital economy, and improve lives across Ireland. For real momentum in addressing this challenge, collaboration between industry and government is crucial, and that is why Cisco is delighted to be partnering with Learnovate and Skillnet Ireland in this initiative.”

Strong global reputation for high-quality talent

Breda O’Toole, Head of Talent, Transformation & Innovation, IDA Ireland said:

“As businesses in all industry sectors adopt digital technologies and become data-driven organisations, digital and data skills will become fundamental across the workforce. Ireland has a strong global reputation for our high-quality talent; to ensure we continue to have the skills for our society and economy to thrive, we must invest in new ways to enable people to develop their capabilities and careers. IDA Ireland welcomes the news that funding from Cisco’s Country Digital Acceleration Programme and Skillnet Ireland will support Learnovate to commence this research project.”

Starting this month, this research project will rely heavily on collaboration among stakeholders and external companies to contribute to its success.

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