Pictured at the announcement of the M1 Drogheda Chamber Skillnet funding are (from left): Robert Murray of Drogheda Chamber, Siobhán Finn, National Hub Network Manager CEAI, Damien English TD, the Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail, Gary O Meara, Chairperson CEAI & CEO of Meath Enterprise and Carol Gibbons, Head of Regions & Local Enterprise, Enterprise Ireland.
They provide subsidised training to local businesses across the North and Mid-East region and now M1 Drogheda Chamber Skillnet has secured funding to develop a training, skills, research and competency framework, to be rolled out across the national enterprise hub network.
This project, supported by Skillnet Ireland, with industry insights and expertise from Drogheda and District Chamber and the Learning and Development Institute aims to identify current skills and knowledge gaps with the long-term objective of developing an educational programme to build capability, growth, and ambition across the Enterprise hubs.
Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Damien English, said: "It has never been more important to build supportive environments for our people and our enterprises to flourish, so the announcement of funding to identify the future skills and education needs of the national hubs network is very encouraging.
“Our hubs are amazing places for businesses to start up, scale and grow, and they also offer great places for people to co-work and to work remotely from.”
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Highlighting the importance of this initiative, Robert Murray of Drogheda and District Chamber, said: "Providing bespoke learning and development solutions to our members through M1 Drogheda Chamber Skillnet has been absolutely essential during the pandemic period, with individuals across all sectors and industries focusing on skills improvement in order to adjust to new ways of working.
“As the evolution of working continues at pace, we are excited to work on this national skills project with CEAI. We understand the importance of working together across hubs, networks and chambers to deliver on regional opportunities as part of the national project."
This research will inform a menu of skills requirements, training programme solutions and mentoring opportunities to be put in place for upskilling the National Enterprise Hub Managers and employees and will be deployed in close collaboration with the Community Enterprise Association Ireland (CEAI) and the Western Development Commission (WDC).
It is the ambition of this project to become a contemporary, digitally positioned, compelling framework which would provide Enterprise Hub staff with the skills to influence enterprise at a local level across their enterprise hub, coworking and remote working locations nationwide.
This Training Skills Research and Competency Framework will build on the existing QHubs, Quality Standards Framework for the National Hub Network, which aims to build and drive quality and capability across the Hubs.
Sinead Henaghan, CEO of The Learning & Development Institute said: We hope, by bridging these key skill gaps and building enterprise hub talent capability, that this will foster innovation and growth within the SME community”.