A cartoon with the circular economy graphic in the middle. Employees are working around it, planting seeds for new energy ideas.
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New skills courses aim to help Irish businesses tackle the climate crisis

7 Oct 2022

Research published earlier this year by Skillnet and ESRI found that skills gaps were a major barrier for businesses in becoming more sustainable.

Skillnet Ireland and University of Limerick (UL) are teaming up to launch short, accredited programmes aimed at creating future climate leaders and helping businesses tackle sustainability challenges.

The courses were developed by Skillnet Ireland’s Climate Ready Academy, which was set up last year to provide upskilling resources to businesses to help them respond to the climate crisis. It runs workshops, classes and mentoring sessions, all focused on sustainability and climate action.

The latest courses in collaboration with UL will provide participants with Level 7 certificates. The courses are delivered in a micro-credential format, meaning they can be taken alone or combined with other courses in a flexible learning style.

Micro-credentials are typically focused on building specific skills for industry and are often developed in collaboration with enterprise partners.

The new programmes are the Energy Leaders and the Waste and Circular Economy Leaders programmes. These are designed to incentivise and support employees in developing practical environmental improvements for their businesses.

Participants will learn how to develop a tailored sustainable charter for their organisation, across the areas of energy, transport, sustainability and waste and circularity. On completion, they will receive a Level 7 certificate in energy management practice and waste, or a certificate in circular economy management in practice with UL.

Paul Healy, chief executive of Skillnet Ireland, said that these programmes would “play a pivotal role” in developing the talent needed by industry to meet the targets of the Government’s Climate Action Plan.

Ken Stockil, director of the Climate Ready Academy, added that they will “benefit businesses by offering them a powerful mechanism to upskill employees and develop tangible actions to tackle climate change within their business”.

Earlier this year, Skillnet Ireland and ESRI published research which found that skills gaps were an obstacle to many industries working to become more sustainable.

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Blathnaid O’Dea
By Blathnaid O’Dea

Blathnaid O’Dea joined Silicon Republic in 2021 as Careers reporter, coming from a background in the Humanities. She likes people, pranking, pictures of puffins – and apparently alliteration.

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