New Chairperson Appointed to Shannon Chamber Skillnet Steering Committee

Vicky Howard, operations director, Reagecon and newly appointed chairperson of Shannon Chamber Skillnet Steering Committee with Chamber CEO Helen Downes. Photo: Eamon Ward.

Shannon Chamber is pleased to announce that Vicky Howard, operations director with Shannon-based Reagecon, has been appointed chairperson of its Skillnet Steering Committee. Ms Howard takes over the role from outgoing chair Edmund Jennings, managing director of the Cregg Group.

Ms Howard will lead a team of eight people who sit on the Shannon Chamber Skillnet Steering Committee, namely: Helen Downes, CEO, Shannon Chamber; Cillian Griffey, network manager, Shannon Chamber Skillnet; Edmund Jennings, managing director, The Cregg Group; Tara Deer, talent management specialist, Modular Automation; Barry Lowe, engineering manager, Lufthansa Technik Turbine Shannon; Marie Clifford, managing director, Advanced Technical Concepts Ltd; David Browne, finance manager, IDEX Pumps Technologies (Ireland) Ltd; Liam Kirby, operations training leader, AXA Partners and; Aidan McMahon, CEO, Gentian Services Ltd.

Making the announcement, Shannon Chamber CEO Helen Downes said: “Shannon Chamber has been operating a Skillnet network since September 2015. It was set up in response to a demand for new areas of training and for training that would be member driven. Our network is funded by member companies and the training networks programme, an initiative of Skillnet Ireland, funded from the National Training Fund through the Department of Education and Skills.

“Our purpose, as a Skillnet, is to provide member companies with training directly suited to their needs. We assess these requirements annually through undertaking a learning needs analysis, the feedback from which directs our annual training programme offering. All of these undertakings are overseen by a Steering Committee, which is representative of businesses in the greater Shannon area.

“Given that the Skillnet is member-driven, it is imperative that the Steering Committee is led by a competent leader in industry. We are fortunate to have someone of the calibre of Vicky Howard assume the role of chairperson. With an established background in human resources and people management and skills development, and now operations director with Reagecon, she has a practical and in-depth knowledge of the value of training to an organisation.”

Accepting the position of chairperson of Shannon Chamber Skillnet Steering Committee, Ms Howard stated: “It is a privilege for me to lead a team that is representative of a wide range of sectors; a team that is clearly focused on enhancing the skills and management capacity in businesses of all sizes in the greater Shannon area. As an SME that expends on upskilling its workforce, Reagecon has witnessed first-hand the power of training within an organisation and the message it gives to potential employees that a company is committed to enhancing personal career paths. It’s all about making Shannon a more attractive option for the retention of talent and attracting new talent to the area.

“Shannon Chamber Skillnet’s upcoming courses include: Certificate in Supervisory Management (QQI Level 6), Data Protection, Microsoft Excel Intermediated and a refresher course in First Aid. We are currently finalising programme structures for a comprehensive suite of new training programmes which will be rolled-out in the coming months; these include: Accounting Software, Business to Business Selling, Certificate in Business & Executive Coaching, Certificate in Management Development, Diploma in Leadership and, Emotional Intelligence. Details of these programmes will be posted on the Shannon Chamber Skillnet website


About Shannon Chamber Skillnet

Shannon Chamber Skillnet delivers a suite of training programmes to meet the needs of:

  • Larger companies who have well-established training programmes yet require training for specific topics that can be delivered to small groups of employees in a short timeframe either in-house by Shannon Chamber Skillnet trainers or at a Shannon Chamber training location.
  • SMEs, smaller companies and sole traders who may not have the budget to initiate in-house training programmes, yet require training to keep their knowledge base current.