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Welcome to the

Skills to Advance


Issue 7, October 2021

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Skills to Advance - latest news

This issue focuses on how ETBs are supporting business recovery, by providing tailored innovative training for employers and employees, to ensure they have the right skills for businesses to rebuild and grow.

Advanced Manufacturing Training Centre of Excellence

The Advanced Manufacturing Training Centre of Excellence (AMTCE), located in the Xerox Technology Park, Dundalk, was established by Louth and Meath ETB (LMETB) to address the training needs of the advanced manufacturing sector in Ireland. Partner organisations include Enterprise Ireland, IDA, Irish Manufacturing Research (IMR), Portview Trade Centre Belfast, Catalyst Connection (Pittsburgh), AM Group, FIT, Regional Skills Fora, Focused Engineering Network and LEOs.The AMTCE launched its initial on-line training in June 2021, with its first virtual classroom-based training delivered in August. In September delivery of hands-on classroom-based courses commenced.
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robotic welding machinery

AMTCE's robotic welding cell.

Remote working here to stay

Laois and Offaly ETB (LOETB) developed two training programmes, ‘Remote Work Ready’ and ‘Leading Remote Teams’, in collaboration with SOLAS, IDA Ireland and Grow Remote, to support employers and employees in the transition to remote working. Even before Covid-19 hit, remote working was an area that was gaining traction. Covid-19 accelerated interest in remote and hybrid models of working.

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Remote working graphic

Leadership and Management programme success

Last year, SOLAS in partnership with the ETBs, the IDA, Enterprise Ireland and the Regional Skills Fora launched ‘Leading through Change’, a leadership and management upskilling initiative. It was piloted in the North East and North West regions in response to Brexit and was then rolled out nationwide to address the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Following the launch in July 2020, 24 Level 6 ILM Leadership and Management courses started across ETBs with 282 employees engaged.

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group holding certificates

Members of staff from Silver Hill Foods, Co. Monaghan, receiving their ILM certificates.

Women in Tech collaborating

Cork ETB (CETB) and the Cork Electronics Industry Association (CEIA) are collaborating to develop future leaders within the SME technology sector. The CEIA is Cork’s Technology Network, which represents over 50 technology companies in the region, ranging from SMEs such as Horner APG to large scale multinationals such as Apple.

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Zoom meeting

Women from CEIA member companies at the programme launch, including participants from Apple, Boston Scientific, Intel, Logitech, Horner APG, MOOG and Wisetek.

ETBs support Hospitality and Tourism recovery

In February 2021, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Simon Harris TD, launched two national upskilling programmes for employees in the hospitality and tourism sector, which were developed by SOLAS and the ETBs in consultation with the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF), Fáilte Ireland and the Regional Skills Fora.

Since then, over 100 hotels and tourism employers expressed interest in upskilling their staff to support re-opening of the sector. 

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Group holding sign outside cafe

Photo: left to right - pictured outside the Glenroyal Hotel's Shoda Café: Kasia Rampold, Café Manager; Tracy Bright, senior Café Assistant; Alex Kelly, Catering Supervisor.

SMART Driving saves €4000 per fleet vehicle

The Minister of State for Skills and Further Education, Niall Collins, TD, formally launched a new innovative Eco Driving course for the haulage sector in Ireland on 17th September 2021. The three-day ‘SMART Driving’ programme, targeted at existing professional HGV drivers, will help participants to develop behaviours and techniques that will improve fuel efficiency and road safety, reduce emissions, and will create cost savings for businesses and employers in the haulage sector.

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Group holding signs beside HGV

Pictured at the launch are (from left to right): Sean Burke, Area Training Manager, MSLETB; Mary Lyons, Director of Enterprise, Employees and Skills, SOLAS; Minister of State for Skills and Further Education, Niall Collins, TD.

New Call for Innovation through Collaboration - Reminder

As mentioned in the previous issue, the Innovation through Collaboration Fund 2021 is now open to applications, with a deadline of 7th October 2021 for receipt of proposals. This is the second time the fund has run, following on from a successful call in 2019. The fund provides support for ETBs, in partnership with other organisations, to harness innovation to effectively implement Skills to Advance.

ETBs are invited to partner with at least one other ETB and another organisation in making their proposal. Any organisations which add value to the project may be included, for example EdTech companies, representative bodies, professional associations, research institutions, community-based organisations, other bodies or agencies, or private companies. Partners may be domestic or international.

Key areas of focus in this round span Promotions, Support & Information, Learning Design, Flexible Delivery, Skills Resilience, Regional & Sectoral, and Specific Needs. Projects must align to the objectives of the Skills to Advance policy framework. The aim is to develop innovative approaches to upskilling employees particularly those in lower skilled jobs or in sectors vulnerable to displacement;

A graphic of a lightbulb and machine cogs

SMEs who need assistance in investing in and developing their workforce; or industry sectors with skills needs arising from emerging opportunities or economic vulnerability.

The funding call and response templates may be found here.

Queries in relation to this fund can be directed to [email protected].

Please note, to ensure that all ETBs receive standard information, clarifications and queries in relation to the call process will be published to all ETBs.

Like to contribute to our eNewsletter?

If your ETB has a story about a Skills to Advance programme and its participants or an event that you would like to see featured in the next issue of this eNewsletter please email [email protected] or [email protected] - the deadline for submissions to be considered for our November issue is Tuesday 2nd November.

Contact Information

For Skills to Advance contacts in the ETBs click here.

For queries about Skills to Advance email us at [email protected].

Block 1, Castleforbes House, Castleforbes Road, Dublin 1, D01 A8N0
[email protected]

(01) 533 2500

Find out more at www.skillstoadvance.ie.

On social media look out for the hashtag #SkillsToAdvance

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