Thursday, 17 October 2019

Questions (134)

Robert Troy


134. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Education and Skills the allocation for the Skillnet programme in 2020, specifically for SME upskilling, following budget 2020; the allocation made to employee skills development initiatives in budget 2020; and the allocation made for the launch of a digital skills initiative scheme. [42833/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

Skillnet Ireland is funded by my Department through the National Training Fund (NTF) to act as an enterprise-led support body dedicated to the promotion and facilitation of enterprise training and workforce development as key elements in sustaining national competitiveness.  Its primary role is to increase participation in enterprise training by companies to upskill the workforce and provide greater access for workers to skills development.

Skillnet Ireland has been allocated €36 million in 2020, an additional €7.9 Million in funding over 2019. This increase will provide additional training for more than 7,000 participants across 3 initiatives:

(i) €1.4m: Further expansion of their enterprise led programmes

(ii) €2.0m: A new SME upskilling scheme targeting 1,200 owners/managers in 2020 to assist in responding to the productivity gap in the indigenous SME sector;

(iii) €4.5m: A Digital Skills Initiative to provide 2,150 training places to over 900 companies in 2020 to help meet the objectives of Technology Skills 2022 – Ireland’s 3rd ICT Skills Action Plan.

Skillnet Ireland will provide training to 69,000 participants in 2020.

Skillnet Ireland operates a joint funding model where training is funded by combining contributions from employers with Skillnet grants.

In line with Government policy to support workforce upskilling and commitment to roll out the Education and Training Board led Skills to Advance programme to target existing employees with limited formal qualifications, additional funding of €6.3m will be also be provided for an additional 3,000 employees in this area through focussed initiatives targeting employers, individual employees and sectoral and regional responses via a competitive call.  Along with the established Skills for Work programme this will bring the total funding for the provision of ETB run employee skills devlopment inititatives to €20.3m.