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Minister Harris announces €5 million investment in new Skillnet Ireland initiative

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Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris T.D. joined Skillnet Ireland and Dublin BIC (Dublin Business Innovation Centre) today to launch The Innovation Exchange – a new enterprise-led initiative from Skillnet Ireland that connects Irish SMEs with large multinational organisations facing digital challenges.

Skillnet Ireland, in partnership with Dublin BIC, has developed The Innovation Exchange to address the barriers that exist for SMEs engaging with large multinational organisations and government. Following a successful pilot in 2021, an investment of €5 million will now see The Innovation Exchange being rolled out to companies nationwide.

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Skillnet Ireland welcomes investment in talent in Budget 2022 to support SME growth and FDI investment

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Skillnet Ireland, the business support agency of the Government of Ireland, has welcomed the focus on talent within Budget 2022 and the Government’s decision to increase its funding allocation for 2022.  

Today’s budget saw the talent agency receive total exchequer funding of €42 million for 2022 through the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science. Skillnet Ireland’s exchequer funding will be further leveraged by over €22 million in private sector matched funding, amounting to a total investment of €64 million in talent for enterprise in 2022.  

As the economy continues to recover from recent disruption, talent development remains vital in ensuring businesses are prepared for future challenges, including rapid digitalisation and climate action. Ensuring Ireland has a robust talent pipeline will be instrumental in growing FDI investment in 2022 and beyond. 

Skillnet Ireland has secured additional resources for scaling the vital work we are leading on in the arena of talent for climate action.  Today’s investment will also enable the expansion of programmes in digital transformation, SME leadership development and business innovation. 


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Skillnet Ireland and Minister Harris and Ryan launch ‘Climate Ready’ programme to prepare Irish businesses for climate change

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Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris, Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications Eamon Ryan and Skillnet Ireland Chief Executive Paul Healy today launched Climate Ready, a five-year national climate upskilling initiative developed in partnership with industry to equip businesses with the skills they need to respond to climate change. Skillnet Ireland, together with the private sector, will invest over €10 million in the Climate Ready initiative from 2021-2025.

Developed to support Government’s Climate Action Plan and the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Bill, Climate Ready will offer Irish businesses the practical skills and insights they need to respond to climate change and to manage the challenges and opportunities transitioning to a low-carbon economy presents.

Climate Ready sees Skillnet Ireland partner with Chambers Ireland, Wind Energy Ireland, Sustainable Finance Ireland and Central Solutions to support over 1,100 companies and 3,000 workers throughout Ireland in its first year. Leveraging Skillnet Ireland’s experience in delivering upskilling and management development to 18,000 businesses annually, Climate Ready will offer several pathways for businesses to build sustainable operating models and develop green talent.

Climate Ready includes:

  • Climate Ready Academy: Offering a suite of practical and specialised learning supports for businesses in the areas of climate action and sustainability;
  • Climate Ready Cluster: A dynamic group of Skillnet Business Networks already delivering substantial expertise for Irish businesses in renewable energy and green technology; environmental, water and energy management; and sustainable finance; and
  • Climate Ready Insights: A centralised platform dedicated to helping businesses advance their thinking and actions around sustainable practices and climate change.


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