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                                                                       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
                                                                       Irish industry.

                                                                       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.
    Programme News

    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
                                                                                               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.

                                                                                    Programme News

Return on Investment (ROI)                                         Ireland’s first
                                                                   Masters Programme
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
                                                                   Trainers announced
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: or
                                                                      Ms. Louise Fleming
                                                                      T: 021 4904720 email:

    Programme News

    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
                                                                       Mark Brennan,
    Technology (D.I.T.)                                                Network Manager,
                                                                       Positive2Work Skillnet
    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 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.

                                                                                      Programme News

    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 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
                                                                      Technology Survey
    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                                             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                                             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                                           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                                             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.
    Recent Events
            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
                                                                                  INTERNATIONAL TRADE
                                                                                  SKILLNET HSBC
                                                                                  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.

                                               Irish Franchising
                                               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.

                                                                                                Recent Events

                                                                      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.
    Network Focus

    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

                                                                                           Network News

                                                                  “HR Challenges…
                                                                  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
                                                                  and concerns.
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)

     Network News

     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
                                                                                                                Mick McHugh,
     Mr Ruairi Brady, President, ISIA, explains the rationale behind
                                                                                                                Skillnets, Rachael
     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.
                                                                       Events Industry
     Speaking at the announcement of the new programme, Sharon
                                                                       Skillnet brings
     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.                                             

                                                                                             Network News

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                         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        
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".

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.                                             

                  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.

editorial matters
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:
Skillnets Ltd.
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:                                                                             Fund through the Department of
Web:                                                                                           Enterprise, Trade and Employment.

Skillnets Ltd. registered in Ireland No. 298694                        Registered office: One Spencer Dock, North Wall Quay, Dublin 1.

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