Five people standing in a laneway with green hedges behind them.
Mark Jordan, chief strategy officer, Skillnet Ireland; Simon Harris, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science; Nessa McEniff, director, The Learnovate Centre, Trinity College Dublin; Aisling Soden, talent manager, IDA Ireland; Shane Heraty, MD, Scotland and Ireland at Cisco. Image: Paul Sharp/Sharppix

Trinity, Cisco and Skillnet to team up on platform to tackle skills shortage

28 Feb 2023

Once built, the platform will help people with their career decisions in the digital and data areas. It will recommend learning paths, too.

A new €400,000 collaborative research project aims to solve the skills shortage in the digital and data industries.

The project is being led by the Learnovate Centre at Trinity College Dublin (TCD), Cisco and Skillnet.

The Learnovate Centre focuses on the future of work and learning. It will work with tech multinational Cisco and national skills development agency Skillnet Ireland on the project. The two organisations are co-funding the research.

The first phase of the project will focus on research with the intention of developing a prototype platform aimed at helping people improve their digital and data skills.

The platform will also aim to help people with their career decisions in the digital and data space. It will include a self-assessment tool to allow users to analyse their own capabilities. As well as this, it will include information on the various digital skills required for certain jobs.

The platform will identify skill gaps for a particular role and recommend relevant learning courses to users. It will also provide a roadmap for career progression by detailing the skills people might require to progress into more senior roles.

Following the prototype development, the second phase of the project may involve making the platform available to users globally.

According to Cisco Ireland and Scotland MD Shane Heraty, collaboration between government and industry stakeholders is crucial to closing the digital skills gap that affects society.

“With businesses, public services and education relying on technology more than ever before, digital skills are now critical for jobs in almost every industry and for the wider economy,” he pointed out.

“We urgently need to reskill and upskill the nation to power the next decade of digital innovation, boost the digital economy and improve lives across Ireland.”

Launching the first phase of the project today (28 February), Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris, TD, said that the development of digital and data skills is “of huge strategic importance” for Ireland as a knowledge-based economy.

Nessa McEniff, Learnovate’s director, said that the research centre’s team was excited to work on a project that so closely aligns with its own research agenda on the future of work and learning.

She added that she hoped it would “cement Ireland’s global status as leaders in the development of the next generation workforce.”

Other projects that researchers at Learnovate have worked on include a project that aims to use AI tech to remove bias from the hiring process, as well as a digital tool that helps teachers and parents detect reading issues in children earlier.

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Blathnaid O’Dea
By Blathnaid O’Dea

Blathnaid O’Dea worked as a Careers reporter until 2024, coming from a background in the Humanities. She likes people, pranking, pictures of puffins – and apparently alliteration.

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