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Skillnet Ireland Launches New Network for the Audio-Visual sector
15 May 2019 : News Desk
Screen Skillnet Launch
Skillnet Ireland, the national agency responsible for the promotion and facilitation of workforce learning in Ireland, has launched six new networks to address the growing skills needs in the film, television, retail, health and fitness sectors.

The six new networks are Screen Skillnet, Leisure, Health & Fitness Skillnet, Fingal Dublin Chamber Skillnet, SFA Skillnet, Dundalk Chamber Skillnet, and CSNA Skillnet.

All six were unveiled at the Virgin Media Television studios in Ballymount, Dublin on Monday, May 13th.

There are currently over 17,000 people working in the audio-visual sector in Ireland. Screen Skillnet has been set up to support the growth of Ireland's Film, TV and Post-Production sectors through the provision of bespoke training and professional networking events.

The subsidised training solutions are offered to companies of all sizes, including freelancers throughout Ireland. The bespoke courses provided are designed in direct response to the needs of the industry and delivered by industry specialists.

The goal of Screen Skillnet in its pilot year is to provide training to a minimum of 200 trainees across 60 companies. John Phelan of the Dublin Business Innovation Centre, which manages Screen Skillnet, said the growth of the industry has been phenomenal in recent years, with the success of SVOD’s (Video On Demand) Netflix, Amazon, Apple, etc.

“The demand for original content is huge. We’ve gone from the SVOD’s (Video On Demand) market creating over €3 billion worth of content in 2012, to over €20 billion this year,” said Phelan. “Ireland has some of the best videographers, screen writers, producers and directors in the world. But they need to continuously upskill in order to ensure they remain competitive.”

With a proven track record in developing innovative learning networks, Skillnet Ireland through its 65+ strong community currently supports over 16,000 companies, particularly SMEs, in sectors and regions across the country.

Skillnet Ireland works closely with these networks to address emerging skills needs, by designing bespoke programmes and qualifications across multiple sectors such as; manufacturing, agri-business, ICT, engineering, pharma, medtech, hospitality, and construction related disciplines.

Speaking at the launch Paul Healy, Chief Executive, Skillnet Ireland said:

“In order to remain competitive, businesses need to invest in their greatest asset, their employees. Promoting continuous learning and upskilling will not only improve productivity; all the evidence shows it actually increases employee engagement and staff retention.

“These new networks will drive greater levels of training and management development within a wide variety of sectors. By facilitating industry led collaboration with training and education providers Skillnet Ireland will address the specific skills gaps and shortages that employers face. This will ensure Ireland has the breadth of skills needed for businesses to grow, which is a key element of the Government’s economic and employment strategy.”

Skillnet’s approach

Skillnet Ireland networks operate under a joint investment model whereby learning networks can apply to receive up to 50 percent of the cost of training from Skillnet Ireland, and the remainder of costs are funded in matching contributions from participating businesses in the learning network. The approach has received international recognition as a model of best practice from the OECD, amongst others.

Funding applications for SMEs

Skillnet Ireland is also seeking applications from new groups of ambitious businesses aiming to address challenges through upskilling and reskilling. Applications for funding are open until September 30th, 2019. To apply, click here.

Skillnet Ireland is also holding information sessions next week for businesses, industry bodies or enterprise groups on how they can establish a Skillnet Network. The information sessions will take place in Athlone on May 22nd and in Dublin on May 23rd. The sessions are free, but you must register to attend. To register, click here.

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