Record levels of activity reported by Skillnet Ireland in 2019

Jul 9th, 2020

Publication of annual report highlights Skillnet Ireland’s valued support to both enterprise and the workforce.


Skillnet Ireland has today published its 2019 Annual Report, which shows the organisation delivered record levels of support to both businesses and the workforce last year.

Skillnet Ireland invested €46 million in workforce development and upskilling initiatives to advance the competitiveness of Irish businesses. 18,422 businesses engaged with Skillnet Ireland programmes in 2019, with 93% of these being SMEs.  A total of 70,270 people participated in over 8,000 training programmes through Skillnet Ireland and its 70 Learning Networks, which was a 25% increase on the previous year.

Skillnet Ireland enables businesses to prepare for the short and long-term implications of the future of work by placing talent at the forefront. In 2019, Skillnet Ireland facilitated several large-scale collaborative initiatives between industry, Government, and higher education institutes to meet a range of complex challenges and to enhance the specialist skills of the Irish workforce. This included launching the Clear Customs initiative, as part of the Government’s Getting Ireland Brexit Ready campaign.

Skillnet Ireland leverages enterprise-led development to help businesses succeed in rapidly changing markets. In 2019, Skillnet Ireland developed new post-graduate programmes in a number of key areas including Ireland’s first Masters in Blockchain and a new Master of Engineering (MEng) in Digitalisation in Manufacturing. Skillnet Ireland will continue to bring leadership to developing the skills needed to power Ireland’s economy and to facilitate a direct connection between national policy and enterprise-led action on the ground.

Launching the annual report, Brendan McGinty, Chair, Skillnet Ireland, said: “Skillnet Ireland has been extremely successful in enhancing the specialist skills of the Irish workforce and meeting complex business challenges by collaborating with industry, Government and higher education institutes. The Programme for Government highlights a commitment to targeting a jobs-led recovery, which Skillnet Ireland welcomes. We look forward to playing our part to fully support this pro-enterprise policy framework which enables investment in the skills required to enhance competitiveness.”

Paul Healy, Chief Executive, Skillnet Ireland added: “2019 was a year of expansion and increased innovation for Skillnet Ireland. Working with our 57 enterprise partners we made immense strides and it is encouraging to see such impressive levels of engagement from enterprise and the workforce. The COVID-19 crisis has brought significant challenges for businesses. Lifelong learning has never been more relevant and will be a driving force as we enter a period of significant disruption which will require all of us to adapt and learn new skills. At Skillnet Ireland, we are supporting businesses through a number of measures to help them navigate this unchartered territory and prepare for the recovery.”

Skillnet Ireland also launched six new learning networks in 2019 to strengthen the skills base of the Irish economy, bringing to 70 the total number of Skillnet Learning networks nationwide.

2019 also saw the launch of an innovative Future of Work and Learning Research series, which includes research on the adoption of technology in agriculture, an analysis of future skills within the sustainable finance sector and innovation within workforce development.  These reports are available here.

Click here to read the Skillnet Ireland 2019 Annual Report and here for the 2019 summary results infographic.

To find out more about Skillnet Ireland, visit the About Us section.


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