Government of Ireland
Regional Skills

We've moved to

Please update your bookmarks and links

Minister Harris announces €11 million for businesses post-Brexit

1 March 2022 

Minister Harris announces €11 million in support for small and medium businesses post-Brexit

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD has today announced €11 million in funding has been awarded to Skillnet Ireland to support small and medium businesses in a post-Brexit world.


Focused on supporting business recovery and growth post-Brexit, the funding will address several priority areas including:

  • Digitalisation: Supporting businesses integrate digital technology and change the way businesses operate and deliver value to customers.
  • Innovation: Facilitating new business models, delivery models, customer engagement tools, learning technologies, Research and Development, and the management of innovation and collaboration.
  • Sustainability: Developing the capacity to create sustainable business models, job types and career pathways, and to integrate existing frameworks and standards.
  • Leadership Development: Strengthening the capacity of owners and managers in key areas including planning, finance, talent management, process management and supply chain management.

Minister Harris said: “The Government is committed to supporting small and medium businesses who are facing unprecedented challenges as a result of Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“As businesses tackle these challenges, this funding channelled through Skillnet Ireland will play a vital role in helping businesses adapt to compete and grow. I am encouraging Skillnet Business Networks to apply for this funding and use it to meet the challenges SMEs in their sector or region are facing.”

Paul Healy, Skillnet Ireland Chief Executive, said: “Our Skillnet Business Networks have made an extraordinary difference throughout the country in the past two years, offering support that has been instrumental in keeping businesses trading through unprecedented challenges.

“With today’s announcement of an additional €11 million in funding under the EU Brexit Adjustment Reserve, we have an exceptional opportunity to collectively support the SME sector in Ireland in 2022. It will allow our Skillnet Business Networks to help SMEs plan for success in key areas including digitalisation, sustainability and innovation.”


The talent development and upskilling solutions funded through this BAR funding will be available to all SMEs nationwide. 

These programmes will be delivered by Skillnet Ireland Business Networks across a wide range of sectors and all regions. 

Businesses can avail of these supports through Skillnet Business Networks and are invited to join a network relevant to their sector and region at


The EU Brexit Adjustment Reserve (BAR) is a special one-off emergency instrument of €5.4 billion which has been put in place to support all Member States affected by BREXIT, while ensuring a strong concentration on those most affected. The Reserve will be disbursed in two allocation rounds. The first round (80%) is being activated in the form of pre-financing, paid in three instalments over 2021-2023 with the remaining 20% being paid in 2025 to reimburse eligible costs actually incurred and paid by Member States in implementing measures eligible for support.  Ireland’s allocation is over €1 billion of the available €5.4 billion (€5 billion in 2018 prices). The financial contribution from the BAR to a Member State will be implemented under shared management. It does not need advanced programming or planning of measures and provides flexibility in the implementation in line with the subsidiarity principle.  The BAR will counter the adverse consequences of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU for small and medium-sized companies, regional and local coastal communities in the EU.

Ireland is the biggest beneficiary of the BAR and the first Member State to receive its pre-financing. This funding will help Ireland's economy in mitigating the impact of Brexit, through support to regions and economic sectors, including on job creation and protection, such as short-time work schemes, re-skilling, and training. Ireland will receive €361.5 million in 2021, €276.7 million in 2022 and €282.2 million in 2023.


About Skillnet Ireland

Skillnet Ireland is a business support agency of the Government of Ireland, with a mandate to advance the competitiveness, productivity, and innovation of Irish businesses through enterprise-led talent development. Skillnet Ireland partners with 70 industry bodies and enterprise clusters, supporting over 21,000 businesses and 80,000 trainees annually, through its 73 Skillnet Business Networks across most sectors and all regions in Ireland. Skillnet Ireland is funded from the National Training Fund through the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science.