The man who is credited with introducing Steve Jobs to Tim Cook is in Dublin today to address the Dean's Speaker Series at the UCD Smurfit Graduate Business School. Rick Devine, the founder of TalentSky, will be speaking on the 'skills gap' and how employers and employees have a role to play in filling the void that exists.

"We created TalentSky to address the skills gap crisis in the US and globally. This refers to the distancing of people from the changing world of work around them and to close that gap by creating visibility at skills level so people can enhance their employability," he explained.

Mr Devine said TalentSky differentiates itself from the current recruitment landscape by focusing on skills needs, and not just jobs. "If companies express demand at the skills level, and that becomes understandable, people can gain insights into their strengths and weaknesses and develop and showcase those skills and their proficiency and maintain strength in the system," he said. He said the change was being underpinned by the acceleration of change brought about by the digital age. 

TalentSky was launched in February with 15 major employers including IBM, Target and Footlocker. "It's a next generation professional social network. We came in behind the successful story of LinkedIn and we're taking it to the next level from a skill ratings standpoint that provides individuals with the ability to navigate the system, even when they're not looking for a job," he explained.

On the Steve Jobs meeting with Tim Cook, Mr Devine said he knew immediately that the Apple founder was impressed with his eventual successor. "There was chemistry there," he stated.

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MORNING BRIEFS - Pfizer will have to pay out a big termination fee to Allergan if, as expected, the two companies confirm today that they have abandoned plans for a merger. Reuters is quoting a person close to the deal who said that both companies would announce that they were calling off their £160 billion tie-up in the aftermath of a new clampdown on corporate inversions by the Obama administration. According to the terms of the agreement, Allergan will get a once off payment of $400m. Pfizer had been hoping to shift its domicile to Ireland where it could avail of a lower corporate tax rate, shaving about a billion dollars a year off its tax bill.

*** The trial continues in Britain today of five former Barclays employees who are accused of conspiring to defraud, by fixing the Libor interest rate. This is the rate at which banks lend to each other and it is set a number of times a day by a group of large banks. The rate underpins trillions of euro in financial transactions every day, but it was uncovered in recent years that the rate was being manipulated by certain traders for profit. The defendants denied the charge - the trial is expected to go on for 12 weeks.

*** The Farmers Journal is reporting this morning that one of the biggest machinery companies, Keenans, is closing in on a sale of the business. The County Carlow based company employs about 250 people and had turnover in excess of €40m in 2014. The Farmers Journal says it will continue to manufacture its key product - the mixer wagon - should the deal go through.

*** 1,951 mortgages were approved in the three months to the end of February, with an aggregate value of €371m, according to the Banking and Payments Federation. The number of mortgage approvals was down by 15% on an annual basis. More than half of the approvals were for first-time buyers.