from the Chief Executive’s desk
Times change. A lot has happened since our last issue, not
least the impact of the global slowdown on our economy
and the resultant tightening of belts. These changes are
impacting our networks as they adapt their programmes to
match revised member company priorities. But this process
reflects the essential strength of the Skillnets’ model, our
Accel Final Evaluation Report Launch ability to adapt to change and keep our offering relevant to
As part of our response in this fast changing environment
our Programme Support Managers will continue to provide
ongoing support to all our network’s initiatives over the
coming months. In addition and with your support, we will
continue to demonstrate the viability of Skillnets in terms
of the competitiveness of enterprise and the employability
of the workforce. Now, more than ever we have to stress
the policy of investment in training that has served us so
well to date.
The third quarter of 2008 continues to be a productive
time for all networks and this expanded issue of Skillnets
News reflects the depth and scope of ongoing network
activity, giving you a flavour of all the training, conferences,
innovative ideas and networking activities that are being
carried out nationwide. Our new offices in Sandyford are
open and now provide us with on-site training facilities
used recently in a very successful new elective module
“Marketing For Networks” as part of the CPD Diploma in
Managing Business Networks.
In August, Minister for Life-long Learning Sean Haughey,
Domhnall Mac Domhnaill, Chairman, Skillnets, Minister for Life-long launched the Final Evaluation report on the Accel Programme
Learning, Sean Haughey and Diane Dignam, Senior Programme 2006–2008 at the Westin Hotel, Dublin. He warmly endorsed
Manager, Skillnets. the success of the programme and cited it as a great example
of life-long learning in action.
I look forward to continuing to work with you over the course
ALSO IN THIS ISSUE of the Training Networks Programme (TNP) 2008–2009. As
the Accel programme shows, enterprise-led training works
First Masters Programme for Professional Trainers page 3 and together we will continue to drive this message home.
Recent Events pages 6 & 7
Network Focus pages 8 & 9
Alan Nuzum, CEO, Skillnets Ltd.
Accel Final Evaluation Report Launch
The Accel Programme Final Evaluation 2006–2008 was Impacts of the Programme
launched by Minister Haughey in the Westin Hotel, Dublin
on 29th August 2008. • 83% agreed that there were high levels of enterprise
participation in the design, development and delivery
Accel was an initiative of the Department of Enterprise, Trade of training.
and Employment and was managed by Skillnets Services Ltd.
on its behalf. The programme was funded by the European • 50% realised secondary benefits from networking.
Social Fund and the National Training Fund. Up to €16.8
million total grant funding was allocated to 55 approved • 93% agreed that their project has led to an improved
projects for the period 2006-8. training culture among member companies.
The Accel Programme supported the training of people in • 94% of projects resulted in increased participation in
employment (in-company training). It gave employers and training by member companies.
workers an opportunity to rapidly improve, realign or revise
their current skills base. The Accel programme was particularly • 95% believed that the Accel Programme has improved
successful in encouraging innovative partnerships between co-ordination and networking between member companies
industry and educational partners. through information sharing, mentoring, sharing of training
costs and the establishment of a national trade council.
An external evaluator undertook the end of programme
evaluation report. The methodology employed included the • 67% agreed that their project encouraged the take up
review of external evaluations of individual Accel projects, an of life-long learning by staff of member companies.
on-line questionnaire, one-to-one interviews with selected
projects and consultation with Accel Programme staff. • The single biggest challenge to member companies
was the co-ordination of management diaries for meeting
Log onto www.skillnets.ie
to view the report.
Some of the Accel team with Domhnall Mac Domhnaill, Chairman of Skillnets
at the launch of the Final Evaluation report – Brian O’ Shaughnessy, Joanna
Piechota, Domhnall Mac Domhnaill, Diane Dignam and Mat Kujawa.
Return on Investment (ROI) Ireland’s first
The Management Development Council (MDC) is a body for Professional
appointed by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and
Employment to advise Government on supporting the
development of world class management skills within Irish
SMEs. Members of the MDC have observed the fact that there Skillnets is delighted to announce
was very little research data available in terms of Return on Ireland’s first Masters degree for
Investment (ROI) on Management Development Programmes professional trainers developed
(MDP) in SME’s. by Skillnets, the Irish Institute of
Training & Development (IITD),
Skillnets is supporting this initiative through the completion FÁS and UCC. The programme will
of 10 ROI case studies on SMEs that are members of training commence in October 2008 and is
networks. Skillnets intends to publish an in-depth case study available to all existing trainers or
report in 2009. others who wish to further their
qualifications in the field of learning
and development consultancy.
Linking the impact of training on any company’s bottom line
is a constant challenge for stakeholders in the training arena. The four partners recognise the challenge that some firms
Therefore, it is of benefit, for practitioners and people in the face transferring education back into their organisations to
training arena to consciously think about and aim to establish ensure a quality return on the investment in training and
a quantifiable link between the “bottom line” and the training development, particularly now with the downturn in the
impact. Promoting this practice is of great importance to economy. They advocate that businesses need to make sure
Skillnets. they spend their money wisely and that key measurements
are in place to show where investment in training and
The 10 network managers who successfully completed the development is contributing to the bottom line. The other
application process to be part of this initiative have completed key challenge is to ensure that those working at a strategic
a 2 day ROI Foundations Certificate and have had the level on the implementation and development of training
opportunity to avail of mentoring support offered through and HRD Policy have sufficient business skills aligned with
the Impact Measurement Skillnet. the firm’s overall strategy and are appropriately positioned
to influence change at board level.
The MA Learning and Development Consultancy is a taught
• ACIST Skillnet programme run over a two year period on a part-time basis.
A uniquely tailored programme, the MA will provide education
• Call Centre Skillnet
in organisational learning and development for those working
• Galway Executive Skillnet
as external or internal specialists and help promote and
• Irish Professional Photographers Skillnet develop the highest levels of competence for trainers,
• ISIT Skillnet instructors, coaches and facilitators. Consulting and business
• Kaizen Training Skillnet elements will allow graduates to diagnose, plan and measure
• Learning Waves Skillnet the impact of training and development interventions on the
• LHP Skillnet whole business.
• Print & Packaging Skillnet
• Private Healthcare Skillnet
For further information contact:
Mr. Willie Weir Centre for Adult Continuing Education, UCC
T: 021 4904715 email: email@example.com or
Ms. Louise Fleming
T: 021 4904720 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
CPD Diploma in Managing Business Networks
The Professional Development Programme (PDP) for all
network managers is designed to support network managers
in fulfilling the complex role of managing a learning network
that meets the business needs of its member companies and
Skillnets has consistently taken a practical approach to
supporting and recognising the diverse range of skills and
business acumen needed in managing a network. Support
CPD group at work at new elective module
includes cluster group seminars, masterclasses, a mentoring “Marketing for Networks”
programme currently being piloted and the tailored Skillnets
Activity Management (SAM) training sessions. As an integral
part of the PDP, Skillnets are offering a certified Diploma
programme through a Continuing Professional Development
(CPD) route, certified to Level 6 by the Dublin Institute of
Technology (D.I.T.) Network Manager,
Currently 25 networks managers are undertaking the Skillnets
CPD Diploma in Managing Business Networks. This group have
become a “cluster” for networking as well as a learning circle.
This Continuing Professional Development programme
harnesses the wealth of experience and skills among network
managers. The programme is highly interactive and participative
and also offers network managers an opportunity to network
and address common issues together. The 2008 cohort have shown great commitment and are to be
congratulated on their hard work and well earned achievements
I really enjoyed the Diploma and would encourage other so far this year. This group have collaborated on group
people to take part in it. It was an excellent opportunity to assignments and projects, in addition to completing several
engage in formal learning that is linked to the practical skills individual assignments. Despite students having a range of
needed to sustain your network. At times I found it challenging professional expertise and prior academic qualifications, the
to meet all the assignment deadlines while balancing the CPD Diploma has been found to be very beneficial.
demands of starting a new network, however the support
from the Skillnets team was invaluable. I found the group work
and informal networking very helpful. Many insights were
shared on how to overcome the challenges and issues that
we all face. Now that the programme is over, it’s great to
Catherine Collins, Network Manager, First Polymer Skillnet
said that “the focus is on sharing and reflecting on the
practical aspects of managing a network, so there is not too
much theory! I would recommend anyone to participate in
have a ‘network’ of network managers to share ideas with. the CPD Diploma as it is a very valuable learning experience
Christine Campbell, The Timber Frame Skillnet and even though it is a big commitment, you learn so much
The Diploma is designed to provide expert inputs and to
utilise the wisdom and experience of the group to achieve
its learning outcomes. Modules on the CPD Diploma are:
by participating and meeting others”.
Final assignments will be submitted in October and we look
forward to celebrating the achievements of the class of 2008
at the graduation ceremony in December.
• Introduction to Networks
• Training for Networks Network managers who wish to undertake the CPD Diploma
• Managing and Sustaining Networks in 2009 are advised to contact email@example.com and one
• Business Finance of the PDP team shall contact you in due course. The Diploma
• Measurement and Benchmarking shall commence at the end of January 2009 and it involves
• Marketing for Networks participating in a minimum of 7 workshops and submitting 5
modular assignments and one overall assignment.
New Literacy Website Client Satisfaction Research
National Adult Literacy Awareness Week (NALAW) took place As part of the Skillnets mandate from the Department of
this year between the 22nd and 26th of September. Building Enterprise, Trade and Employment Skillnets will once again
on the success of last year, the National Adult Literacy Agency be conducting a client satisfaction survey with network
(NALA) broadened the theme this year to ‘the benefits of managers, contracting organisations and member companies
learning in communities’. During the week NALA also officially at the end of 2008.
launched their new website www.literacy.ie and distance
education supports. Further details will be communicated to all network
managers in due course.
“ Helen Ryan, Policy Officer, NALA said, We know, from our work
in the area, that people can feel very hesitant about returning
to education. They may not have liked school or may have
been made to feel inadequate because they had difficulties
with reading, writing or maths. However, this does not have Skillnets conducted a technology survey on our training
to be the case. Adult learning is a very different experience networks at the end of 2007 and early 2008. The objective
to school. Adult learning is all about addressing the needs of of this survey was twofold –
the learner, working at a pace that suits them and mapping • ascertain the degree to which all of the Skillnets’
out a learning path that fits in with their life and interests. training networks were adequately protected and
The important thing to remember is that it is never too late legally compliant from a technological viewpoint.
to return to learning and the benefits are well worth it. • understand the degree to which the Skillnets’ training
networks optimised existing or new technologies to
manage the performance of their network.
New Faces at Skillnets
We would like to welcome the following new staff members All of the survey responses have been analysed and the
to the team. outputs can be categorised as follows:
1 Professional Development – A Technology masterclass
will be held in early 2009 – details will be forwarded
nearer the time.
2 Security – A Skillnets’ “Technology Security” best practice
document will be issued to all Network Managers by
John Holohan, Head of Communications
firstname.lastname@example.org October 31st 2008.
John holds a BA Psychology from University College Dublin
and a PRII Diploma in Public Relations. John has over 15 years 3 Statistical feedback will be sent to all networks by the
experience in marketing and communications. end of October 2008.
Deirdre Keane, Programme Support Manager
email@example.com 4 An inventory of technologies being used and developed
Deirdre holds a BA European Business & Languages (French by all of the Skillnets’ training networks is being collated
& German) and a Diploma in PR. She worked in her own and maintained centrally at Skillnets Ltd.
management consultancy prior to joining Skillnets.
The information provided from the technology survey was very
Niamh Desmond, Programme Support Manager
firstname.lastname@example.org relevant, informative and interesting. Obviously, technology
Niamh holds a Master of Business Studies in Entrepreneurship plays a huge role in the administration and management of all
Management and previously worked in internal training in HR businesses. It is important that all of the Skillnets’ training
Strategy and Development at University College Dublin. networks are familiar with the existing legal obligations and
it is also useful to be aware of existing technologies that can
Dave Flynn, Programme Support Manager
email@example.com enable and facilitate the development of your training network.
Dave holds a Masters Degree in Organisational Psychology and
previously managed the KWCD Local Employment Service, We would like to thank all of you who took the time to
overseeing service and training delivery to the long-term complete the survey.
Launching the Emerge Skillnet “Workplace Business English” for migrant
workers programme at the Laois Chamber office, Portlaoise on Tuesday
22nd July 2008. Pictured: Noreen Keegan-Kavanagh, Network Manager,
Jane Watts, Commercial Manager, Ulster Bank, Portlaoise, Pat Enright,
President, Laois Chamber, Jenny Kent, proprietor of the Abbeyleix Manor
Hotel, Marie Futzpatrick, More Than Words Business Education Training.
[Picture: Alf Harvey]
ICOS DIT Diploma in Retail Management
GAELTACHTAÍ NA MUMHAN LAUNCH
Pictured at the launch of Gaeltachtaí na Mumhan
Skillnet, Eamonn Ó Neachtain, Regional Manager,
Údarás na Gaeltachta, Dónal Mac an tSíthigh,
Network Manager, Antaine Ó Sé, CEO MFG, John
O'Donoghue, Ceann Comhairle, Tomás Mac Gearailt,
Chairman, CFCD., Alan Nuzum CEO, Skillnets, Gearóid
Ó Brosnacháin, Manager, CFCD and Michael Ó Sé,
Gaeltachtaí na Mumhan.
The ICOS Skillnet is now offering among their training courses a CPD
Diploma in Retail Management certified by DIT. Pictured here are Serge
Basini, DIT, Lecturer; Eamon Kelleher, Dairygold Co-op Society, John Kelly,
Centenary Thurles Co-op Society and John Tyrrell, Director General, ICOS.
ICOS Skillnet Launch
Pictured at the International
Trade Skillnet HBSC
Workshop are Craig Pattinson
from HSBC, Mary Meehan,
Network Manager and John
O'Leary from Revenue.
Eamon Healy, Chairman ICOS Skillnet Steering Committee, Alan Nuzum,
CEO, Skillnets, Jana Sirotkova, Network Manager, An Tánaiste and
Minister for Enterprise, Trade & Employment, Mary Coughlan T.D. and
John Tyrrell, Director General, ICOS, pictured at the ICOS Skillnet launch.
ITAG SKILLNET ANNUAL AM-AM GOLF
Keith Lalor, O’ Briens Sandwich OUTING, GALWAY
Bars, Dave Flynn, Skillnets, Anita Carey, Thomas Cox, Dave O’Connell from
Muiris Murphy, Snap Printing Nortel presenting the Nortel Perpetual Cup to
and Niamh Desmond, Skillnets team captain Jim Cawley, with Ciaran Ryan and
pictured at the launch of the Dee Timoney, Network Manager at the Annual
Irish Franchising Skillnet. AM-AM Golf Outing in Galway Golf Club.
Southern Tipperary Skillnet BBQ,
Pictured at the Southern Tipperary Skillnet BBQ, Jackie Ryan,
Network Manager, Kathleen Asple, Abbott Vascular, Mark
Hearne, Medite, Tina Hearne, Chairperson, Paul Deegan, Alza,
Therese Walsh, Bulmers, Tom Larkin, Merck, Sharp & Dohme,
Louise Barry, Brennan Hotels and Ger Sammon, Stakelums.
Rural Food Skillnet Launch
Pictured at the official launch of the Rural Food Skillnet at
Bellinter House in Navan, Michael Ludlow, Chairman CLE, Eilish
Broderick, Network Manager, Minister Noel Dempsey, T.D.,
Michael Purcell, Purcell Partnership and Al Donnelly, Principal
Environmental Health Officer, HSE.
Space Industry Skillnet
By coming together under the Space Industry Skillnet Irish
organisations’ involved in the development and production of the
ARIAN space launcher will be the first ever Irish entrants to take
part in the Arianes Cup 2008 yacht race this October. Pictured at
a practice session off the west of Ireland are Danny Gleeson,
Network Promoter, Jean-Marie Bocquel, Tom Farrell, InTune
Networks, David Gibbons, Farran Technology, John (Boat owner),
Fergal Bonner, ACRA Control and Niall O' Byrnes, Kapital Dermot.
U Learning Skillnet
Launch of Women at Work Skillnet The U Learning Skillnet aims to provide flexible
Bill Cullen, who officially launched the
Aileen Morrisey, Mandate, Mary Trainers Learning Skillnet pictured Pictured
modular learning for today’s workforce. with
O’Rourke, T.D., Alacoque McMenamin, Sinead Heneghan, Director, IITD, Enterprise
here are Professor Eamonn Murphy, Emma Walsh,
Network Manager, Marian Geoghegan, Research Centre, UL, Piers Devereux, CEO,
Network Manager, Trainers Learning Skillnet.
IBOA and Carol Scheffer, CWU at the Olympus Life Research Ireland, Dr. Ingrid Hunt,
launch of Women at Work Skillnet. Network Manager, Mat Kujawa, Skillnets and Brian
O’Connell, Managing Director, Westpark Shannon.
Bill Cullen, who officially launched the
Trainers Learning Skillnet pictured with
Sinead Heneghan, Director, IITD, Emma Walsh,
Network Manager, Trainers Learning Skillnet.
Members of the Timber Frame Skillnet
were one of the first to participate in
the 3 day Air Pressure Testing training
course which is brand new to Ireland.
EXCELLING AT EXCELLENCE
Retail Excellence Ireland Skillnet was founded in 1999 to offer said David. “A key fundamental to a networks success is to
retail industry organisations the opportunity to share in joint ensure that the network of people involved learn from one
learning and networking activities. The network now involves another”. Retail Excellence Ireland Skillnet does this through
over 350 retail companies, each year attracting new members. profiling leading retail brands by DVD and requesting members
Network members include the largest brands and most to present at conferences. “We also have a multi-site group
progressive independents in every sector of the retail industry. involving the largest retail brands in Ireland. This group meets
three times annually, and they use the day to discuss trading
Challenges for the Retail Industry performance, what each company is doing best and quite
The retail industry is currently facing many challenges, not simply learn an awful lot from one another. We spend no money
least erosion in consumer confidence which has resulted in on trainers during these days – the owners are the trainers”.
a significant sales reduction in most sectors of the industry.
The results of the recent Retail Excellence Ireland Skillnet Other learning events include a number of best practice visits
CBRE quarterly industry review underlines this point. which involve store tours, formal meetings and time for the
According to David Fitzsimons, Network Manager, “There is travelling members to discuss what they have witnessed.
very real pressure being felt by retailers at the moment. As
to how this will ultimately impact on our network is hard to
predict, but currently we are finding that retailers want to
learn how to become financially fit. As such our network has
reacted and will host a lean retail conference and lean retail
training programmes in the autumn period”.
Training for the Retail Industry
The network addresses training needs through a wide range
of supports including workshop training, site visits, research,
networking events and an interactive website. Training
courses on offer from the network include retail industry
prevalent topics including train-the-trainer, maximising
promotions to drive sales, media and marketing, lean retail Brendan O’Brien, Managing Director of O’Brien’s
practice and window display and styling. The networks Retail Wines, Beers & Spirits who won the store of the
year award in 2007 with Miriam O’Callaghan.
Studies Programme, which is accredited by FETAC at Level 5,
is proving very successful and making a great impact to the
individual trainee’s job performance, employability and job
satisfaction. Pat Madigan manages the FETAC programme and Applauding Best Practice
says “it is proving very much in demand. We are constantly The network has been at the forefront of awarding and
getting calls from retail brands asking can we offer the applauding best practice in the Retail industry. For the past
programme to them and the students really enjoy the practical number of years the network has operated the Irish Retail
nature of the programme”. Awards in association with FBD insurance. “We felt that some-
one in the industry needed to give operators a benchmark
The network responds to the needs of such a large industry to reach for and the awards were born”. This year witnessed
by hosting events targeted at different groups. These include the largest ever entry with 432 store entries, 119 manager
the Owners Forum which is hosted three times annually and entries and 37 company entries.
is attended by over 100 retailers. Other niche events include
sectoral groups which include a pharmacy network and retail E-commerce Opportunities
park retailers network. “In today’s economy, growth opportunities are thin on the
ground, however we realise that e-commerce continues to
Networking for Success offer growth potential” said David. “In response to that need,
Retail Excellence Ireland Skillnet places great emphasis on we planned a trip to London to meet with some of Europe’s
networking in addition to the formal training events. “We find leading e-commerce experts. The trip included a workshop
that bringing operators together within an industry works on how to drive on-line sales and meetings with experts such
well and much is to be gained from peer to peer learning” as Ebay, Venda and Prism and provided valuable insights into
A New Business Climate”
Human Resource professionals need to ‘challenge
organisational assumptions’ and ‘assume a greater role in
business strategy’, delegates were told at the inaugural
Tourism and Hospitality Human Resources Conference 2008.
More than 160 Senior Managers and HR professionals from
the Tourism and Hospitality industry attended the conference
organised by Hospitality Management Skillnet in partnership
Some of the Irish retail delegation at the Retail Excellence with Fáilte Ireland on 11th September 2008 in Dublin. The
Ireland Skillnet and Venda UK hosted dinner at the Emirates conference came about as a result of industry feedback from
stadium. HR practitioners relating to their learning needs, challenges
how best to grow this retail platform. This series of meetings
led us to partner with Venda who will launch a cost effective Fáilte Ireland, the National Tourism Development Authority,
suite of e-commerce solutions to all of our members in plays a key role in recruitment, training and career develop-
October. For as little as €65.00 per month a retailer will have ment for Ireland’s largest indigenous industry which provides
a website established, designed and launched.” Paul Barnes employment for more than 250,000 people, while Hospitality
from Daintree Paper said "I was very impressed with the Management Skillnets provides Industry with numerous
Venda presentation and was re assured to know that I was development programmes in direct response to the Industry’s
learning about cutting edge sites. It was just the push I training needs analysis. A continuous demand exists for trained
needed to give the site a complete overhaul.” professionals to work in a variety of careers within the
Tourism sector, which creates an estimated 6,000 additional
Other Services new jobs per year.
The network also organises important research initiatives,
in partnership with CBRE and produces a bi-monthly Retail One of the several speakers at the event, Martin Shanahan,
Times magazine. The newly designed website provides Divisional Manager at Forfas, opened the conference by
members with a library of resources and highly innovative sharing the objectives of the “National Skill Strategy”. Alan
training pods for retailers. Nuzum, CEO, Skillnets spoke about the challenging times
ahead for Irish businesses and how there was a greater need
Asked what the secret of success is for Retail Excellence for business professionals to share best practice and learning
Ireland Skillnet David added “we have always reacted to through organised networking events that the 123 Skillnets
our members needs. A couple of years back we invested can offer. Ger Deering, Director of NERA (National Employment
a lot of budget in running human resource management Rights Authority), gave an overview of what NERA do, their
programmes, but at the end of the day members were not audit process and how NERA can assist organisations with
reverting to what they had learned, they were calling us the top 5 non-compliant issues. This was a much anticipated
to confirm a key HRM decision they were taking was legally presentation with plenty of interaction from the audience.
correct. In response we partnered with a HRM specialist and
now members can pick up the phone and discuss the issue The conference ended on a lighter note with an interactive
for free. By adding as many strings to our bow we are giving session on how Hospitality HR Managers can give practical
great benefits to our member companies”. advice to managers and employees on how to handle stress.
Kevin Moriarty (Head of Enterprise
& Management Support at Fáilte
Ireland), Alan Nuzum (CEO at
Skillnets Ltd.), Natasha Kinsella
(CEO of Irish Hospitality Institute
and Promoter Company for
Hospitality Management Skillnet),
Shane Cookman (Deputy President
of Irish Hospitality Institute)
ISIT SKILLNET ISIT ILM
Mark Taylor, Fetac, Mick
Gets Stamp of Approval & Opens McHugh, Skillnets, Brid Healy,
City & Guilds, Billy Goodburn,
Centre of Excellence in South East ISIT Skillnet. John O’Connor,
ISIT Skillnet has just been accredited as an approved centre NQAI and Mike Crothers, ILM.
of the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM). The
ILM is the UK's leading awarding body for management and
leadership education, offering the widest and most flexible
range of qualifications available. ISIT Skillnet South
East Centre opening
Mr Ruairi Brady, President, ISIA, explains the rationale behind
the decision to partner ILM: “ILM qualifications have a Crowley, S-Security
well-founded reputation for quality and adaptability which Group Ltd. and Billy
meets ISIT Skillnet’s aim of providing tailor-made training for Goodburn, ISIT
the security industry. As an approved centre for ILM, we can Skillnet.
tap into their portfolio of existing qualifications and build
and deliver ILM certified programmes to specifically meet
the needs of our customers, primarily the security industry.” Training and education in the South East has received a major
boost with ISIT Skillnet’s decision to open its first regional
ISIT Skillnet has announced four programmes which will training centre of excellence to meet training needs in
be accredited through ILM – Managing the Internal Audit Tipperary, Kilkenny and Cork and Waterford.
programme, Crime Prevention through Environmental Design,
Conflict Resolution – Train-the-Trainer and Management Located at the G5 Enterprise Centre Industrial Estate in
Development which ISIT Skillnet had previously offered, Waterford City, the training centre offers a full range of
will now be accredited through ILM. courses, funded through Skillnet Ltd and accredited through
FETAC, the Institute of Leadership and Management, the
Operator training programme Institute of Commercial Management or HETAC.
to make medical technology
companies more efficient
A novel training programme aimed at increasing the
competitiveness of the medical technology industry in Ireland
by upskilling and certifying operators in the sector was
launched by the IMDA Manufacturing Excellence Skillnet.
Speaking at the announcement of the new programme, Sharon
Higgins, Director of IMDA (the business association in IBEC
promoting the programme), said that: ‘This training programme European Event
recognises that training without assessment is of limited value ROI Institute to Dublin
to the trainee and the organisation they work for. Under this
new programme, operators are assessed on the job after the The Events Industry Skillnet hosted ‘A Taste for Events’ on
training has been completed to ensure true competency has September 15th in the Royal College of Physicians. Dr Elling
been achieved. It is hoped in time those who successfully Hamso, Managing Partner of the European Event ROI Institute
complete the suite of courses and assessments will receive was the keynote speaker. The event featured tasters of the
level 5 FETAC certification. This system provides lifelong training courses on offer through the Events Industry
training opportunities for trainees personally while also Skillnet, including Data Protection, PR and new technologies.
enabling companies to implement continuous improvement Member companies of the Events Industry Skillnet were on
programmes across their organisation’s reducing cost and hand to offer a taste of the services they provide. At the
improving efficiency dramatically. Very importantly, the event, the new Centre for Excellence in Events was formally
companies will have documented evidence of training – launched. The Centre for Excellence in Events is the new
a must in the highly regulated medical technology sector.' professional association for people who organise events.
Trainers’ Learning Skillnet Continuous Improvement
The Trainers’ Learning Skillnet recently “went live” with their
new custom-developed on-line booking system, which allows
companies to book places on Trainers’ Learning Skillnet courses The Kaizen Training Skillnet hosted a Continuous Improvement
at any time using a system that is simple to use and secure. conference for large and small companies in The Sheraton Hotel,
This intuitive system, developed for the Trainers’ Learning Athlone on 18th September 2008. The conference featured
Skillnet by Fanore Software allows HR and Training Managers both international and Irish speakers who outlined their
to book places for their staff in just a few short mouseclicks. implementation stories to help achieve significant improvements
Courses can be searched by county or date, allowing potential in productivity, quality, cost, delivery, safety and morale through
trainees to quickly see what courses are coming up in their a structured approach.
area, or they can view a list of all venues for a specific course
and choose the one that suits them best. The booking system Delegates attending the conference gleamed first-hand
works like any other online shopping or booking system where information about the ideas, models & strategies for the
you can browse the available courses, “save your basket” and effective introduction of lean manufacturing systems. The
return to complete the booking later. For further information conference entailed two strands, one with keynote speakers
log on to www.trainerslearningskillnet.com. and case studies and the other an opportunity for a limited
number of companies to take part in a two-hour parallel
workshop with the event’s keynote speakers.
Training Provider Competency
Skillnet Seminar Case studies included a presentation on how one company
increased sales revenue by €200,000 per week after a five-
The Training Provider Competency Skillnet held a seminar month implementation of the Kaizen model, a Japanese
for training providers in May this year in the Glenroyal Hotel, philosophy which focuses on continuous improvement. One of
Maynooth, to raise awareness of the importance of the quality the most significant elements of this event demonstrated how
of training services. The seminar included an introduction to all companies involved have achieved an extremely positive
two training programmes that are now being provided in Return on Investment (ROI), with a short payback period.
Developing QA Systems for FETAC Agreement" and "Measuring Delegates saw how to measure ROI on lean initiatives and also
the Effectiveness and Impact of Training". Berni Ferris, learnt how to sustain these gains after the payback period.
Western Management Centre, Galway commented "Great www.kaizenproject.com
networking event and worthwhile day" and Yvonne Quinn,
Lifestyle Sports, Dublin said "Excellent initiative and very
informative, all speakers were to a high standard of quality".
IRISH ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR
ATTRACTS CAPACITY AUDIENCE
At Midland-Border-East Skillnet Seminar
A capacity audience made up of small and micro businesses
from across the midlands and eastern border counties packed Front (l to r) Alastair Purdy, Purdy Legal Solicitors, Rachel Doyle,
the main conference room at the Nuremore Hotel, Arboretum Garden Centre. Back (l to r) Martina Brennan, Network
Administrator, John Matthews, Network Manager and Bridie
Carrickmacross, to hear guest speaker and Irish Entrepreneur
Corrigan Matthews (Qdos). [Pic: Lorraine Teevan]
of the Year 2008 Rachel Doyle describe her unique experiences
building her garden centre business. Over twenty training “The seminar has been a great success”, said John Matthews,
companies also attended along with legal expert Alastair Network Manager for MBE SKILLNET. “Feedback from
Purdy. The aims of the event were to give small business attendees has been excellent, so we’re delighted. We were
owners in the region the opportunity to learn from the high fortunate to have two high quality speakers, and the seminar
profile entrepreneur and other business experts, and also to has really helped to promote an awareness of the MBE
assess as a group the training available to them through the Skillnet and how we can help member companies”.
MBE Skillnet. www.mbeskillnet.ie
Calendar of Events
22/23 PDP Masterclass in Managing Finance for Networks
CPD Diploma in Managing Business Networks Graduation
Further information on events in 2009 will be available shortly.
We are delighted to bring you the fourth issue of ‘Skillnets
News’. The newsletter is a communications tool for Skillnets
staff, networks and projects across the country. Thank you
to all those networks and projects who contributed to this
issue and we look forward to another issue in the last
quarter of 2008.
The editor welcomes contributions but reserves the right to
edit or omit submitted material. No responsibility can be
accepted for the loss of submitted material. Material from the
Skillnets magazine, unless copyright is indicated, may only
be reproduced with written permission from the publishers.
All contributions are welcome. Please send your news and
photographs to the editor at the following address.
The Skillnets Newsletter is published by:
5th Floor, Q House,
76 Furze Road, Sandyford, Dublin 18
Editor: Sinéad McGovern
The Training Networks Programme
Tel: 01 207 9630 Fax: 01 207 9631 is an initiative of Skillnets Ltd. and
is funded from the National Training
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Fund through the Department of
Web: www.skillnets.ie Enterprise, Trade and Employment.
Skillnets Ltd. registered in Ireland No. 298694 Registered office: One Spencer Dock, North Wall Quay, Dublin 1.