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Leaders from over 50 industry sectors gathered in Dublin this week for The Future Works 2021, Skillnet Ireland’s National Summit which examines the future of work and the vital role talent plays in Ireland’s economic success.

Bringing top international speakers and industry thought-leaders to a diverse programme, the event which took place at the Clayton Burlington Road, offered delegates insights and perspectives on the evolving business landscape, the megatrends influencing the world of work, and the talent challenges facing SME and FDI businesses in Ireland.

This year’s event marks the second in the Future Works series following 2019’s inaugural summit. Focused on rapid digitalisation and climate action, the agenda examined how talent can help firms of all sizes to embrace innovation, stimulate competitiveness and drive growth.

Taking place twenty months after the emergence of the pandemic in Ireland, The Future Works 2021 also explored ‘Leadership for the Next Normal’ as the economic recovery continues to gather pace and business leaders adjust to new working models for the post-Covid era.

Niall Collins T.D. and Minister of State with responsibility for Skills and Further Education, Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science said: “We are living in a definitive era for Ireland’s economy, as businesses and their people continue to contend with the impact of Covid-19, the challenges of Digital Transformation, and the consequences of Climate Change – all of which places an enormous emphasis on the need to invest in the development of talent.”

“My Department and the Government are pleased to continue to support Skillnet Ireland’s vision of transforming businesses through talent, to deal with immediate and future business and economic challenges.”

Brendan McGinty, Skillnet Ireland Chairperson said: “When the impact of the pandemic subsides, disruption will remain as global megatrends challenge our economy, businesses and jobs. Talent will play a key role in enabling businesses to capitalise on the upside of new disruptions and mitigate their downsides.”

“Skillnet Ireland has a proven heritage in enterprise-led talent development. By ensuring our businesses have world-class talent, Ireland is exceptionally well placed to respond to the transformational factors that are reshaping the world of work.”

Paul Healy, Skillnet Ireland Chief Executive said: “As industry leaders, policy-makers, and Government agencies, it’s vital we respond to the change impacting our economy and support businesses in building for the future.”

“This week’s Summit – ‘Unlocking Innovation Through Talent’ – brings key stakeholders together to advance this mission. As we enter a new chapter for our business community and economy, it allows us to examine the challenges and opportunities ahead, and to set out a path for our economic prosperity and growth that will be largely defined by talent.”

The Future Works 2021 featured contributions from an impressive line-up of guests with particular focus on Digitalisation and Ireland’s Digital Economy, including Futurist Mark Stevenson, Co-Founder and COO of Kinzen Áine Kerr, and Secretary General of the European DIGITAL SME Alliance Sebastiano Toffaletti.

The event concluded with an in-depth panel discussion hosted by MC Richard Curran, featuring insights on building business leaders that can navigate challenge, change and opportunity. Offer real-world perspectives, the panel featured leading industry voices including: Tara Rodgers, President of Sligo Chamber; Lorna Martyn, Head of Technology for Fidelity Ireland; Dr. Colm Foster, Director of Executive Education at the Irish Management Institute; and Founder and Managing Director of Bradley Brand, Andrew Bradley.

For more information on The Future Works 2021, visit:

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