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New initiative will reskill workers who lost their jobs during Covid-19

7 Oct 2020

The ‘Skills Connect’ initiative could help workers who have been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic to secure new roles.

While the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent restrictions have had a serious impact on employment in many sectors, a new initiative announced today (7 October) may help many workers who lost their jobs in recent months to reskill for new roles.

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris, TD, has launched Skillnet Ireland’s new initiative, ‘Skills Connect’, which aims to support those who are eligible with rapid reskilling free of charge.

The initiative will be delivered in partnership with more than 300 companies and will offer a range of tailored programmes, including work placements and employer mentoring.

More than 20 Skillnet networks will deliver the programme in sectors where there is high-employment potential and a demand for talent, such as technology, agrifood, medtech, cybersecurity, logistics, customer experience and digital marketing.

Speaking at the launch, Harris said he expects to help 2,000 people through the programme by the end of the year, with many more in 2021.

“The initiative will focus on supporting people from those sectors most badly affected by Covid-19 including hospitality, tourism and retail, and offer them the opportunity to reskill and retrain in sectors with employment potential including cybersecurity, software programming, digital marketing and customer service,” he said.

“We must do everything possible to get businesses back on their feet and get people back to work quickly.”

Skillnet Ireland’s chief executive, Paul Healy, added that since the onset of the pandemic, the agency has intensified its collaboration with its industry partners.

“The Skillnet Ireland model is enterprise-led and highly adaptable to the ever-changing needs of businesses. Skills Connect is a practical, employer-driven initiative that connects affected workers to new opportunities in the workplace by building on their existing skills and experience,” he said.

Those who wish to find out more about the Skills Connect initiative can do so here.

Jenny Darmody
By Jenny Darmody

Jenny Darmody became the editor of Silicon Republic in 2023, having worked as the deputy editor since February 2020. When she’s not writing about the science and tech industry, she’s writing short stories and attempting novels. She continuously buys more books than she can read in a lifetime and pretty stationery is her kryptonite. She also believes seagulls to be the root of all evil and her baking is the stuff of legends.

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