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Two groups of professionals working in the Irish travel and hospitality sectors have had a memorable start to 2024 by graduating from leadership programmes delivered by Skillnet Business Networks.  

On January 12th, the Leadership Excellence in the Travel Industry programme graduation was held at the Merrion Hotel, Dublin. The event was attended by Dara Calleary TD, Minister of State for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation.  

The Leadership Excellence in the Travel Industry programme was developed by Positive2Work Skillnet in collaboration with the Irish Travel Agents Association (ITAA) and travel experts.  

This new programme focuses on improving leadership skills for travel industry professionals with modules such as Leadership and Team Growth, Digital Transformation and Sustainability in the Travel Industry. The growing role of Artificial Intelligence (AI), as well as setting and achieving goals were also covered in detail throughout the programme.  

Positive2Work Skillnet supports businesses across all sectors in Ireland as they grow, by offering funded training that helps to build a dynamic, upskilled and resilient workforce. The Skillnet Business Network has previously engaged in developing enhanced digital skills programmes with a number of organisations across the travel and tourism sector.  

Praising the efforts of the Leadership Excellence programme graduates, Clare Dunne, ITAA CEO, said: “The ITAA is very proud of the graduates’ hard work and their dedication to the programme over the past few months. We are delighted with their achievements and look forward to watching them implement what they have learnt into their career. The feedback we have received from participants is overwhelmingly positive and we anticipate further developing this course and running it again.”  

Commenting on the successful collaboration between both organisations, Gráinne O’Boyle, Positive2Work Skillnet Director, said: “The collaboration between Postive2work Skillnet and the Irish Travel Agents Association underscores our commitment to fostering leadership excellence in SME sectors such as the travel industry. Providing cutting-edge, industry-relevant training empowers and strengthens the workforce. This can only be a positive outcome.”  

Further information about the programmes offered by Positive2Work Skillnet is available on the Skillnet Business Network’s website.  

Photo: Graduates of the 2023 Leadership and Development Management programme. 

Meanwhile, an Irish Hotels Federation Skillnet programme, designed specifically to address management and leadership upskilling needs in the hospitality sector, has produced over 30 graduates ready to bring their newly gained expertise back to the workplace. 

The successful participants of the 2023 Irish Hotels Federation Skillnet Leadership and Development Management programme were joined by their family, friends and colleagues at an official graduation ceremony in Dublin, on January 11th. 

Irish Hotels Federation Skillnet supports businesses operating hotels and guesthouses. Its mission is to deliver a comprehensive range of high-quality upskilling programmes and networking opportunities. These initiatives are designed to meet the needs of hospitality businesses and support a strong learning and development culture that inspires a capable, agile and vibrant workforce.  

The Leadership and Development Management programme was developed to upskill people working in the hospitality sector who have been promoted to management positions without formal training, and to help managers navigate the many complex challenges which the industry is facing.   

The course offers participants the opportunity to upskill in key areas of hospitality business management, such as marketing, revenue management, finance, sales and customer and public relations. The programme content, which is delivered and informed by hospitality industry leaders, provides tangible insights into the world of hospitality management, and helps to bridge the gap for employees looking for the next step in their career, or existing managers that were promoted without formal training.  

Steve Paget, a member of the expert trainer panel, who helped deliver the programme, said: “This is a very unique programme for new or soon-to-be managers, and I look forward to meeting the new recruits for 2024.”   

Shauna Hanratty, who works in Co Cavan’s Cabra Castle and who graduated from the 2023 programme, said: “I would recommend this programme to any upcoming managers/supervisors in the hotel industry, I gained confidence meeting new people from all over the country from many wonderful hotels and learned many new skills to take back to my hotel and implement on a daily basis. I highly recommend this programme.”  

Another graduate, Diego Flores, who works at the Dylan Hotel, Dublin, said: “The IHF Skillnet Leadership and Management Development course was an amazing experience. I met lot of wonderful people, it was a pleasure for me. The course is delivered by an incredible team of industry professionals all working together.”  

Full details about the programme and the other supports offered by Irish Hotels Federation Skillnet are available on the Skillnet Business Network’s website. 

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