Over 100 new retailers join Retail Skillnet 2015

Tuesday, 24 March 2015
Retail Ireland, the Ibec group that represents the retail sector, today launched its Skillnet Programme for 2015. This year marks a significant change for the Ibec Retail Skillnet which will now be delivered directly by Retail Ireland, as the Retail Ireland Skillnet. This has already led to an increase in the number of companies participating from 176 last year, to 280 this year. Retail is the largest employer in the country with over 275,000 jobs and as Ireland's oldest Skillnet programme over 12,000 people have already completed the training they need to develop new skills and find new jobs.

Although Ireland is experiencing strong growth, nearly half of all new jobs recently announced were in Dublin. Over 75% of retail jobs are located outside of Dublin and by delivering courses across the country the sector will play an important role in promoting balanced regional growth. This year a BA in Retail Management Practice is being offered in Dublin and Galway, a Masters in Innovation and Leadership is being offered in Letterkenny and Level 5 and 6 courses will be delivered across the country as well.

Chairman of Retail Ireland and Managing Director of Eason & Son Ltd, Conor Whelan said: “As an industry we are beginning to emerge from what has been a very difficult period for retailers. Access to highly skilled, motivated staff will be key to achieving recovery in the sector over the coming years, Retail Ireland and its members are committed to investing in our staff and helping them realise their potential."

Minister of State for Skills, Research and Innovation, Damien English TD, expressed his support for the programme in advance of the event and said:: “Retail Ireland Skillnet is a great example of the ways government and industry can work together to help people get the skills they need to find employment and help with career progression. The courses on offer highlights the diversity of career options  in the sector and the many opportunities for professional advancement."

Chairperson of Retail Ireland Skillnet and HR Manager for Brown Thomas, Gretta Nash Cadden said: “Incorporating the Skillnet Programme directly into Retail Ireland is an important milestone and will help give greater visibility to our programme in the coming years. We will now be able to offer a better range of courses with more retailers participating in the programme, training greater numbers of people than ever before. This means more people will get the skills they need to find jobs and advance their careers."

Retail Ireland Skillnet is aimed at retail employees of all levels and offers a number of places people who are unemployed. The courses, which are fully accredited by Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI), cover areas as diverse as customer care, communications, security, health and safety, as well as warehousing. You can find out more online at www.retailirelandskillnet.com