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Clear Customs: Equip your business to deal with any new customs challenges

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Continued uncertainty around Brexit has highlighted the importance of capacity-building in the customs intermediary sector and the necessity to boost ‘in-house’ customs capacity amongst business that are regularly trading with the UK. Delays at customs can result in disruption to both business and customers. Taking steps now to train key staff on how to effectively complete a customs declaration helps pre-empt Brexit related customs challenges.

Supported by Getting Ireland Brexit Ready, the Clear Customs free training initiative developed by Skillnet Ireland will be delivered by CILT Skillnet at several training locations nationwide. Clear Customs offers immediate and free customs training to Customs intermediaries, and to businesses who frequently trade with or through the UK.

In order to ensure your business is Brexit ready, please register your interest in Clear Customs training now.

The Clear Customs initiative is led by Skillnet Ireland, the Government agency responsible for workforce development, together with Enterprise Ireland. The training programme has been designed in close collaboration with key industry associations and will be delivered by the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) Skillnet, in conjunction with the Irish Exporters Association and Irish International Freight Association.

Minister Humphreys Launches Country’s First Master’s in Blockchain through Skillnet Ireland

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The Minister for Business, Enterprise, and Innovation Heather Humphreys T.D. will today launch Ireland’s first ever Master’s in Blockchain (Distributed Ledger Technologies) in the Davenport Hotel in Dublin.

The programme has been developed by Skillnet Ireland’s Technology Ireland ICT Skillnet, in collaboration with Dublin City University.

The launch coincides with Blockchain Ireland week, a Government initiative focused on promoting the growth and development of Blockchain technology in the country. Speaking at the launch, Minister for Business, Enterprise, and Innovation, Heather Humphreys T.D. said:

Ireland is a global technology leader, including in blockchain technology. Nine of the top ten US technology companies operate in Ireland, along with nine of the top ten global companies recruiting in the blockchain industry. Our aim is always to be proactive in anticipating and serving the needs of the industry and the people who work within it. This programme directly supports objectives set out in the Government’s Future Jobs Ireland initiative. The first of its kind in Ireland, this Masters programme will help ensure the country has all the skills necessary to become a global hub for this new technology.

In response to the National Blockchain strategy and aligned to the Government’s Future Jobs Ireland initiative’s aim of enhancing skills and developing and attracting talent, Technology Ireland ICT Skillnet worked with Blockchain Ireland to identify what skills were needed in this sector. This Masters programme was developed as a result. Skillnet Ireland awarded funding to Technology Ireland ICT Skillnet, under its Future Skills programme, to further the programme development in collaboration with industry.

Ireland can be at the forefront of Blockchain revolution,” said Chief Executive of Skillnet Ireland Paul Healy

“Blockchain technology has now penetrated multiple industry sectors such as banking and finance, food supply-chains and medtech .  A highly skilled workforce is one of the essential ingredients for Ireland to be a leader in Blockchain technologies. This Master’s programme will help ensure we have the right skills available for companies and IT professionals to enhance their blockchain technology capability and to seize the immense opportunities that are available” he added.

The Masters in Blockchain (Distributed Ledger Technologies) will be delivered by industry specialists in collaboration with Dublin City University.

The programme will be primarily taught online, part time, over a two-year period.

“DCU is proud to collaborate with Skillnet Ireland on the first of its kind Master’s programme in Blockchain (Distributed Ledger Technologies),” said President of Dublin City University, Professor Brian MacCraith

“This programme will produce graduates equipped with the skills and knowledge required to thrive in this rapidly changing sector. This project displays the combined strengths of higher education and enterprise networks in the face of new challenges we all face in our quest to flourish as an economy,” he added.

Blockchain was first introduced as the underlying platform for the famous cryptocurrency Bitcoin, over a decade ago. Since then, it has been gaining popularity and has become one of the fastest growing technologies of recent times. In 2018, over $5 billion was invested in the sector by venture capital firms, a significant increase from the previous year’s $1.5 billion. Experts have considered it to be the best technology created in recent years, after the internet itself.

 “The lack of technical Blockchain skills is of national and international concern as it is a significant inhibitor to Blockchain adoption in companies across key industries including manufacturing, supply-chain, health, food, aviation, finance and the public sector,” said Dave Feenan, Acting Network Manager for Technology Ireland ICT Skillnet

“This new Master’s will provide Ireland will a real opportunity to upskill our already excellent IT professionals, preparing them for jobs of the future. The synergy between industry and education means these professionals will have the practical tools needed to bring the benefits of Blockchain technology to a variety sectors,” he added.

This course is aimed at IT professionals working in the Republic of Ireland. To qualify for direct entry, they must have a Level 8 Honours Degree (2.2) or higher in Computer Science, Computing, Computer Applications or a related discipline. Applicants without these entry requirements may be considered if they can demonstrate previously obtained competence equivalent to the entry requirements.

Applications are now open for this new Master’s beginning in September 2019. The closing date for applications is July 23rd 2019. In the first instance, applicants should submit their CV directly to info@ictskillnet.ie For more information on the Master’s degree in Blockchain (Distributed Ledger Technologies) at DCU click here.

Skillnet Ireland Launches Six New Networks as Demand for Upskilling Grows

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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; Screen SkillnetSFA SkillnetFingal Dublin Chamber Skillnet (Dublin)Dundalk Chamber Skillnet (Louth)CSNA Skillnet and Leisure, Health & Fitness Skillnet were unveiled yesterday (May 13th 2019) at the Virgin Media Television studios in Ballymount, Dublin.

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.”


Click here for more details…https://www.skillnetireland.ie/skillnet-ireland-launches-six-new-networks-as-demand-for-upskilling-grows/

Minister launches results of National Employer Survey 2018

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The Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh T.D. today launched the National Employer Survey 2018. The survey, completed in Q2 2018, has shown that employers are very satisfied with graduate recruits across a range of personal and workplace attributes, including computer and technical literacy, working effectively with others and numeracy/processing numerical data.

The National Employer Survey is a joint project undertaken by the Higher Education Authority, Quality and Qualifications Ireland and SOLAS which aims to ascertain employers’ views on the overall quality of recent higher education and further education and training (FET) and graduates, any barriers to graduate recruitment and collaboration between business and educational institutions.

Responses to the survey came from 760 organizations, 535 of which had recruited recent graduates from the higher education and further education sectors.

Some of the key findings included:

  • Overall satisfaction with higher education graduates was 86%. For FET graduates overall satisfaction was 84%.
  • Satisfaction levels for higher education graduates are highest for computer and technology literacy at 88%, working effectively with others at 87% and effective verbal communication at 85%.
  • FET graduates scored highest for working effectively with others at 89%, effective verbal communication at 85% and working effectively on their own at 85%.
  • The satisfaction with the computer and technology literacy of FET graduates is very high at 83%.
  • Other strong results were recorded for working effectively with others at 87% for higher education and 89% for FET and effective verbal communication at 85% for both sets of graduates.

Launching the results of the survey, Minister McHugh said: “I am delighted to note the high level of satisfaction that employers express in graduates. First and foremost what this survey shows is that we have a very high caliber of graduate coming out of the third level.

“Employers clearly see the value that graduates from Ireland’s education and training sectors are adding to their business. And this is improving all the time.

“Graduates are fulfilling the needs of all parts of the economy and their positive impact is being felt in all companies, regardless of how big or small, the sector or where they are headquartered.”

Paul O’Toole, interim CEO, HEA, said: “Irish employers are generally very happy with the quality of our graduates and the universities, institutes and colleges should take credit for that. However, we cannot rest on our laurels. With technological and other changes happening at an increasing pace, we need to enable graduates to be ready to adapt to whatever future challenges the workplace holds.”

Conor J Dunne, Acting CEO, SOLAS said: “We are pleased to note that employer satisfaction levels with further education and training graduates are at a similar level to third level graduates. This year’s report has also provided more detail on how further education and training graduates are viewed, both in terms of technical and personal skills, with our graduates scoring highly in areas such as effective communication, working with others and reliability.”

Other survey results included:

  • Collaboration between education and industry is high with work placements being the most popular form of collaboration.
  • Some 86% of employers support staff in continuing professional development. In-company training was the most popular with 73% of employers supporting professional development.

Minister McHugh said: “There’s high satisfaction with the engagement between industry and colleges, institutions and universities and I am delighted to see employers indicating that they are engaging on work placements, upskilling of staff and apprenticeships.

“The provision of work placements is particularly important for students in gaining experience of the world of work and it is an area we should keep building on as we meet the demand for skills.”

Lower rates of satisfaction were recorded for graduate attributes related to commercial awareness, entrepreneurship, and foreign languages. The Government has already put in place measures to address these areas including an increased focus on employer engagement through Regional Skills Fora, ongoing work on the Entrepreneurship Education Policy Statement and the implementation of Languages Connect, the Foreign Languages in Education Strategy which was published in December 2017.

Notes for Editors

The survey was conducted by way of a CATI telephone survey, amongst a representative sample of enterprises/businesses, by way of a pre-agreed questionnaire designed for the project by the HEA, SOLAS and the Department of Education and Skills. Fieldwork for the survey was conducted by Behaviours and Attitudes for Fitzpatrick Associates in June and July 2018. 760 organizations completed the survey.

For the purposes of this survey:

  • The term graduate includes persons qualifying from higher education institutions (e.g. Universities and Institutes of Technology) and also persons qualifying from further education and training where a wide range of programmes in terms of levels and fields of study to a diverse group of learners are provided (e.g. National Craft Certificates for qualified apprentices (e.g. plumber, electrician etc.), FETAC3 qualifications (e.g. childcare, hairdressing etc.) and specific industry related qualifications.
  • A graduate is someone who has been recruited within the last 24 months and who have also completed their qualification within the last 24 months.

While not directly comparable due to different technical designs, a comparison of the 2015 and 2018 surveys indicates a number of trends:

  • The most positively rated graduate workplace attribute on both surveys is computer and technical literacy.
  • The least positively rated aspects of both surveys are entrepreneurial skills and foreign language capability, although satisfaction with both aspects has improved.
  • Satisfaction with effective verbal and written communication also seems to have improved since 2015.
  • Satisfaction levels for personal attributes in this survey are broadly similar to those registered in the 2015 survey.

Minister Bruton launches Skillnets Statement of Strategy 2016-2019

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Speaking at the launch of Skillnets’ Statement of Strategy 2016-2019 Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton, TD said: “Recognising that the war for talent is now one of the most important factors for job-creation, ambitious action to increase our skills supply must be a priority. We must ensure that we continue to increase the skills supply, by offering up-skilling and re-skilling opportunities, which will be vital if we are to reach our target to create 200,000 additional new jobs by 2020.”

Over the next four years, Skillnets will be driven by three strategic goals that take into consideration our funding, national policy concerning the importance of developing skills and talent, the needs of enterprise and the economic context. Skillnets goals reflect the essential needs of industry, as articulated by enterprises during the broad consultation process that underpins this strategy.

Skillnets strategy serves to support national economic growth, and bring real results to enterprise at a regional and sectoral level. Skillnets goals are also closely aligned with national policy and will contribute to the implementation of national workforce development aims, as highlighted in Ireland’s National Skills Strategy 2025.

This strategy was launched on 3rd November, 2016 and the press release is available here.

Skillnet Ireland delivers €30.2m in enterprise-led upskilling and training programmes in 2017

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Message from CEO Skillnet Ireland…Skillnet Ireland experienced a positive year for growth during 2017. An increase in funding led to an expansion of our enterprise-led training model into both priority and emerging sectors. A response to our commitment to collaborate with enterprise in the area of future skills, saw the establishment of five new Skillnet learning networks. Each of the sectors (Medtech, Design, Hospitality, Retail and Freight & Logistics) represented by our new learning networks feature prominently in Government strategies.

During 2017 employer participation in Skillnet training grew by 5% with 15,012 businesses collaborating with our 66 Skillnet networks. The Skillnet offering has a specific appeal for SMEs, who make up over 69% of private sector employment in Ireland. In 2017, 94% of participating firms were SMEs, with over half employing nine staff or less. As the Chairperson has noted, 49,194 learners undertook training through Skillnet Ireland in 2017.

Although these outputs represent good value for public monies, embedding a culture of lifelong learning within SMEs in Ireland remains a considerable challenge that will require a deep and sustained effort.

For more details click here