Minister Harris launches Regional Skills Information Campaign

24 March 2021 

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD and Minister of State for Skills and Further Education Niall Collins TD have today (Monday) launched a new Regional Skills information campaign.

The campaign is aimed at businesses of all sizes and offers a range of services and supports available across the education and training system and a structure for employers to become more involved in promoting employment roles and opportunities for career progression in their sectors.

Speaking today, Minister Harris said:

“I recently launched my Department’s three-year Statement of Strategy. Human capital development, and skills development, is central to the Strategy, and that is why I am very happy to launch this information campaign on the Regional Skills Fora today. 

“The way we live and work has changed dramatically. We can expect to see change continuing at pace. We need to make sure that we have a highly skilled, flexible labour force, one that robustly meets the existing and future needs of our economy and our society. It is critical that people and businesses can avail of opportunities for developing skills in the way that suits them best, and that we ensure that our growth as a society is sustainable and inclusive.”

The Minister added:

“The great value of our nine Regional Skills Fora is their local expertise – they can help you as a business owner to identify the new skills you need, or where training would be of benefit. They can help you access Government supports. They are a unique network, linking enterprise and industry with the education system and informing national skills policies and responses through their work. I would urge anyone, from a sole trader to a multinational, to get in touch with their local Regional Skills Manager and find out what we can do for them.”

Minister Collins said:

“COVID-19 has had a serious impact on employers throughout the country. The Regional Skills Fora work with enterprise to identify immediate, new and emerging skills needs and work with further education and training providers to help people reskill and to best position themselves for our post COVID-19 economy. The Fora have already helped thousands of businesses across the country. They are there to assist, free of charge - please take advantage of it.”

The network of Regional Skills Fora is in place to help businesses of all sizes and in all sectors to be prepared and have the necessary skills for the challenges ahead. Whether it’s identifying the skills gaps in a business, upskilling, or accessing Government funding, Regional Skills helps to facilitate and future-proof companies nationwide.

With nine Regional Skills managers across the country, employers can be assured that they can access the necessary expertise from a professional who is familiar with the business landscape on both a local and national level. Regional Skills can also help businesses who have been impacted by COVID-19 and guide them to education and training providers and government supports. They are guided by, and work closely with, the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, and with the National Skills Council, to ensure that skills challenges, and responses to them, are addressed coherently and comprehensively.

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