Thursday, 11 July 2019

Questions (433)

Robert Troy


433. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the status of the Enterprise Ireland skills audit tool and the extra supports initiative which help SMEs to meet skills needs; and the 2019 funding allocation to these items. [31130/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Business)

In recent client surveys, Enterprise Ireland client companies highlighted that skills were a major challenge to their company development and growth. In response to this challenge, Enterprise Ireland, in partnership with the Department of Education and Skills and the Department of Business, Enterprise & Innovation, identified the need to run Skills Analysis Workshops around the country, which would provide client companies with an appropriate toolkit to assess their skill needs.

Under this collaborative programme, Enterprise Ireland rolled out the Spotlight on Skills Workshops, which were designed and delivered by the Irish Management Institute.  The Spotlight on Skills workshops are part of the Skills for Growth Initiative, which is led by the Department of Education and Skills.  The aim of these workshops is to assist companies to identify their skills needs to support the growth of their business.

The output from these workshops deepens Enterprise Ireland’s understanding of the specific skills needs within EI client companies and, in collaboration with the Department of Education and Skills and the Regional Skills Fora managers, helps to inform engagement with the Higher Education, Further Education and other training providers to tailor future supports to assist client companies to meet their skill requirements.

The workshops were open to all Enterprise Ireland client companies and aimed at members of the senior management team. The programme aims to empower the SME client base to examine and articulate their skills requirements.  

It is anticipated that after completion of the workshop and follow-on implementation support, participants will have: adopted a framework to assess the skill needs of their business and applied this tool or framework within the company, and they will have the ability to communicate with confidence the current and future skills needs of their business for engagement with the Regional Skills Managers, Enterprise Ireland, key stakeholders including the Regional Skills Fora and the Higher or Further Education institutes or other training providers.

A total of 23 Spotlight on Skills Workshops have taken place to date between Q4 2017 to Q2 2019 across the following regions; North East, North West, West, Midlands, Mid-East, Mid-West, Dublin, South East and the South West. A total of 223 companies have participated in the workshops, with 371 individual participants having attended. The industry sectors that have participated include; Food, ICT & International Services, Industrial, Life Science and Consumer.

Since the commencement of this initiative in 2017, Enterprise Ireland has to date paid approximately €169,000 to support its implementation.