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Fund turns small into big business

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Brendan McGinty...Skillnets fund.

Skillnets – the national agency responsible for funding and supporting training networks – has announced details of a new €450,000 training fund, aimed at assisting private sector businesses to grow, by addressing their current and future skills needs.

A group of businesses from the same region, or specialising in the same sector, can collectively apply to develop a Skillnets training network, and draw down funding support for the development and delivery of training.

Businesses can be of any size, from a sole trader to multi-national, and the fund will also be open to existing industry federations, industry bodies or enterprise groups.

Skillnets Chairman Brendan McGinty described this as a progressive time for Galway enterprise, with an increase in the number of people in employment, as businesses look to expand.

“Having the appropriate skills, including addressing future skill needs to deal with this expansion, is vital for sustainable development,” he said.

“The success of our open call for Skillnets training networks last year, which resulted in the establishment of eleven new training networks, indicates the growing demand among businesses for relevant and innovative solutions to address skills shortages in the workplace.

“Skillnets is pleased to announce another new fund for Skillnets training networks this year, so that more enterprises looking to expand their business can be assisted in skills development,” he added.

Skillnets operates under a joint investment model whereby participating training networks can apply to receive up to 50 per cent of the cost of training from Skillnets, and the remainder of costs are funded in cash contributions from participating businesses in the training network. The first closing date for the new funding call is 15th March, with a second closing date in November 2016.

Skillnets already supports 63 training networks in a wide range of sectors from manufacturing to information technology and food / beverage and mixed sectoral training networks across many regions.

For networks seeking to access the new call by Skillnets, full details are available on www.skillnets.ie/funding or direct contact can be made through funding@skillnets.com

Connacht Tribune

Consumer spend hit by inflation

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The average planned monthly spend among Irish consumers has decreased by ten per cent, according to Deloitte’s latest State of the Consumer Tracker.

The survey found that consumers in Ireland are ten per cent more concerned about inflation than the global average, with more than half (56 per cent) worried about their level of savings.

It also found that consumer confidence in engaging with businesses and services in person has increased over the last month; 80 per cent feel safe going to the store (up six per cent since the previous wave); 80 per cent feel safe engaging in one-to-one services such as hairdressing (up five per cent); 78 per cent feel safe going to a restaurant (up seven per cent); and 66 per cent feel safe attending in-person events (up ten per cent).

Despite this, financial concerns among consumers in Ireland have remained constant or lessened only slightly since the previous wave: 26 per cent are concerned about making upcoming payments (down two per cent); 52 per cent say they are delaying large purchases (no change); 44 per cent are optimistic that their personal financial situation will improve within the next three years (up one per cent); and 56 per cent are concerned about their level of savings (no change).

In fact, of the 23 countries surveyed, Ireland is the third-most-concerned about inflation, with 85 per cent of consumers in Ireland saying that they are concerned about inflation, compared to the global average of 75 per cent.

Consequently, the average planned monthly spend among consumers in Ireland has decreased by a significant ten per cent, from €2,654 in the previous wave to €2,396.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Delivering hope to Ukrainian arrivals

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Some of the Galway Rural Development team playing their part in helping Ukrainian arrivals (from left) Steve Dolan (CEO), Kathleen Cannon (RSS), Michael Stapleton (RSS), Martina Caulfield (Admin Officer) Sean Broderick (Senior Manager), Julie McGrath (Tús), Pat McGrath (Tús), Martin Collins (RSS), and Sinead Cox (Tús).

Galway Rural Development has been to the fore of the county response for the resettlement of Ukrainians across the county, having spent recent weeks supporting initiatives – from sorting donations to providing direct supports to the various centres in the county.

In addition, last week the GRD team were busy moving donated items across the county, to and from some of the main centres.

Senior Manager of GRD’s SICAP team Anne Cassidy revealed that they were organising donation drives for items into their offices for nearby centres – and they had recently received approval to redirect SICAP funding.

“It’s a huge challenge for the team and we intend on hiring a Ukrainian to work with us and help with translations and in terms of explaining rights, entitlements and so on,” she admitted.

But she also highlighted the wider county response.

“The Galway public continue to be very charitable. The local businesses and business owners we’ve contacted asking for targeted aid have been enormously generous, and indeed we’ve also already found several Ukrainians work, mainly in retail. The extent to which the county has responded has been remarkable,” she said.

GRD CEO Steve Dolan acknowledged that the new arrivals had been through so much – which made the reaction all the more critical.

“To see the response across Galway, from Kiltormer, to Kinvara, to Carna, can only make you proud,” he said.

“The groups in local communities have been so responsive from the welcome committees to the culture nights organised, and we have been supporting in every way we can.

“I can also only praise the work of the DSP, the HSE, and other organisations. At our end, we’ve hired a full-time Outreach Officer seconded to and funded by the HSE which links-in with our own SICAP and Tús-RSS teams,” he said.

And he revealed that GRD had taken its proposal for a Ukrainian-specific Tús programme directly to the Minister.

“These people need ‘purpose’ and are so keen to contribute,” he said.

“We are hopeful – given the benefits in terms of education and training, the contribution to mental and physical health, and especially in terms of integration and breaking language and cultural barriers – that our request will be granted.

“So many Ukrainians want to play a role in their new communities and we should support them in doing so,” he concluded.

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Connacht Tribune

Giant leap for tech company as recruitment begins for new roles

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Minister Hildegarde Naughton, Anne-Marie Tierney-Le Roux, IDA Ireland and Gloria Loredo, Chief Transformation Officer, Poly, outside the Crown Square Campus this week.

Poly, the audio and video technology company, has begun recruiting staff for its new European headquarters in Galway.

Poly is the company which built the headset used by Neil Armstrong in 1969 to communicate one of the world’s most famous phrases from the moon.

The company formally signed the lease at the new Crown Square office development in Mervue, which will become its EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) Centre of Excellence, employing 200 people.

Applications are open for a variety of roles across software engineering, sales, human resources, customer support, legal, and finance.

Scheduled to complete its fitout and open its doors later in the year, the company will create the 200 jobs over the next four years in its Research & Development lab – designed to serve as “the innovation heartbeat for the company’s 65 offices across the globe”.

New recruits will be based in the Crown Square development, which will also include offices and accommodation.

Galway West TD and Minister of State, Hildegarde Naughton, said: “The world of work is changing, and with it comes highly distributed workforces and new hybrid working policies and practices. Global companies like Poly sit at the heart of that transformation and their commitment to Ireland, and especially Galway, is a great boost to our growing technology sector.”

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

Continue Reading

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