Shannon Chamber Encourages Companies to Upskill and Reskill their employees

With COVID-19 causing so many unanticipated changes at both personal and work levels, Shannon Chamber is encouraging companies to enhance their employees’ skillsets through availing of a comprehensive suite of training programmes, which the Chamber has significant funding to support.

Shannon Chamber, which operates a Skillnet learning network, is funded via Skillnet Ireland to deliver a wide range of training under different programme streams, including the ReBound Programme, which has been specifically designed to support small and medium-sized companies implement a safe return to work plan.

As Shannon Chamber CEO explains: “Many of the programmes we offer will involve companies acquiring a new set of skills, as many of the positions required will need to be created. Our focus now is on seeing our members reap the benefits.”

A second stream of training is provided through the Training Needs Programme (TNP) and includes a broad range of training for staff at all levels. This stream is aimed at enhancing employees’ existing skills or equipping them with a set of completely new skills. Training can be offered in a very wide range of disciplines such as computer programmes, leadership and coaching, lean and continuous improvement, software development, data analytics and data transformation and business-related topics.

Explaining the need to continually upskill, Ms Downes states: “Lifelong learning will be the norm for adapting to new technology and new business opportunities. Job roles will change, and new types of jobs will appear. That is why companies see upskilling as an imperative; their workforces will need to be agile as the lines between job roles become more blurred.

“Companies are also finding that to meet forecasted trends in their sector and to enable them to develop, they need to focus more on the development of IT and online marketing skills. They also need to be proactive in assessing the requirement for, and the viability of, incorporating new technology to match partnership demands. This may require a bespoke training programme to meet company specific needs, also training in leadership development, marketing, time management and effective business goal setting.”

Downes continued “Companies are continually looking to up-skill and re-train their staff to stay competitive, particularly now with the additional pressures caused by COVID-19. The availability of business-relevant training to support this dynamic is critical to them. Developing a flexible workforce also makes it easier for a company to diversify and move people within their operation. Training also enables companies to recruit from within; it can unearth a lot of unknown talent.”

Through its Employment Activation Programme (EAP), Shannon Chamber Skillnet can also support companies who may at any future stage be forced to reduce numbers.

“This can be a particularly difficult time for any company and it’s a training stream we don’t want to have to deliver willingly, but if it does become a reality for any member company, we can help them upskill and reskill employees in preparedness for working in new roles with new employers.

“This programme enables companies to equip their employees with new, transferable skills which they can utilise in a new job in the same or an alternative sector,” added Ms Downes.

Shannon Chamber is encouraging businesses to avail of this very expansive set of training, which is available free of charge to member companies.

“We are calling on companies to enrol their employees for the programme(s) that best suits their specific skills’ need. It is a great time to do training. It settles the disruption caused by COVID-19 and gives employees a sense of belonging again. While training must be done remotely, participants can still communicate with each other on-screen.”

Our call to companies throughout the region is take a look at our website, see what programmes best fit their training requirements and simply enrol. If a company needs training that we do not currently provide or they need a completely new type of training, just give us a call and we will take it from there,” added Ms Downes



Please find our recent video on ReBound Shannon Chamber Skillnet

About Shannon Chamber Skillnet (  set up in response to a demand for new areas of training and for training that would be member driven. The 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.


About Skillnet Ireland (

Skillnet Ireland is a business support agency of the Government of Ireland, with a mandate to advance the competitiveness, productivity, and innovation of Irish businesses through enterprise-led upskilling.  Skillnet Ireland partners with 57 industry bodies and enterprise clusters, supporting over 18,000 businesses and 70,000 trainees annually.  Since 1999, Skillnet Ireland has had a positive impact on Ireland’s competitiveness and economic growth, by developing the capacity of Irish business and the workforce.  Skillnet Ireland is funded from the National Training Fund through the Department of Education and Skills. Skillnet Ireland networks operates under a joint investment model with enterprise. The model and approach has received international recognition as a model of best practice from the OECD, ILO, EU, and others.