Including industry contributions, Skillnet has forecasted that its funding for enterprise training and digital upskilling for 2020 will exceed €60m.
As part of Budget 2020, the Government has today (8 October) announced plans to increase funding to Skillnet Ireland, the national agency responsible for the promotion and facilitation of workforce learning.
The agency has welcomed the news, which will see its allocated funds increase by 28pc to €35.9m for next year. Combined with industry contributions, the agency has forecasted that its funding for 2020 will exceed €60m.
‘In a rapidly changing workplace, in-employment upskilling and lifelong learning is now a fundamental requirement for every worker’
– JOE MCHUGH, TD
Through the investment, the Department of Education and Skills has promised to support Irish companies in upskilling and developing their employees, helping the business sector in Ireland to adapt to the changing world of work and technology.
The money will specifically be used to drive productivity businesses in Ireland and to prepare workers for digital transformation, both of which are seen as critical factors in maintaining national competitiveness, according to Skillnet.
Particular areas that have been highlighted include boosting SME productivity, cultivating digital skills and addressing technology gaps.
Minister for Education and Skills, Joe McHugh, TD, said: “In a rapidly changing workplace, in-employment upskilling and lifelong learning is now a fundamental requirement for every worker.
“Through Skillnet Ireland, we are making the investments needed to equip Irish businesses and workers with the tools to shape their own future.”
Skillnet Ireland works in partnership with 50 industry bodies and enterprise clusters, providing enterprise training and innovation supports to more than 16,000 businesses and upskilling 56,000 workers throughout the country every year.
Paul Healy, chief executive at Skillnet, said: “There are immediate challenges confronting enterprise in Ireland, not least of which is the disruptive effect of Brexit, but also the question of how our businesses can seize the immense opportunity presented by the digital transformation.
“What unites these challenges is upskilling and talent development.”