For our latest Network Insider interview, we caught up with Cillian Griffey, the Network Manager of Shannon Chamber Skillnet.
Name of Network: Shannon Chamber Skillnet
Number of members: 303
Sector(s) covered: Multi-sectoral spread: Aviation, ICT, Engineering, Pharmaceuticals, Medical Devices, and International Services
Year established: 2015
Please describe what your network does?
The Shannon Chamber Skillnet was established to bring consistent, high quality and member-led training to our members. A demand from members for new areas of training prompted Shannon Chamber CEO Helen Downes to look towards establishing a Skillnet. The addition of the Shannon Chamber Skillnet allows us to conduct an annual Learning Needs Analysis Survey, which ensures that the training we offer is exactly what our membership base comprising of multinational, SME and micro enterprises require.
Can you outline one key way your network impacted positively on the sector?
Companies now see the value of training for both the retention and recruitment of new talent. With many companies now seeking more hybrid skillsets from employees, we are seeing an increasing number of learners augmenting their existing third-level qualifications with complementary skills, acquired through the Network. This enables them to apply for, and undertake, new responsibilities within their organisations.
What has been the most transformative initiative in your sector in the last year?
Our annual flagship programmes have been the most transformative undertakings since our establishment. For example, our current Level 8 Diploma in Leadership, which is a results-driven programme, will equip its 11 participants with highly effective coaching skills to lead and motivate their teams to maximise their performance and results.
What new trends do you see emerging within your industry?
It’s difficult to avoid the term ‘The Future of Work’, widely used today when contemplating the impact new technologies such as artificial intelligence and virtual reality will have on jobs. This is certainly exercising the minds of HR managers today as they prepare for the workplace of the future and the impact this will have on recruitment, learning and development, and flexible working.
What skills do you think are most important for a small business owner/manager?
People-centred skills will always remain critical for a business. Technology may provide the tools, but people have to be able to use them and communicate their relevance to a company’s sustainability. Frontline management skills, IT skills and soft skills such as communication will always be relevant to a business, regardless of size. We are seeing an increasing demand for lean skills as companies strive for continuous improvement.
Do you have any advice for a business that is considering joining a Skillnet Network?
There are a number of reasons why a company should upskill with a Skillnet Network. The training is enterprise-led, and trainers are recruited via a rigorous procurement process. Skillnet Networks can offer subsidised bespoke in-company training. Specifically, Shannon Chamber Skillnet has an online booking system, making it easy for our members to book training and upskilling programmes.