The national agency responsible for the promotion of workforce learning is reminding businesses that there are resources available to upskill their employees.

Skillnet Ireland was responding to a survey carried out by CIPD Ireland - the umbrella body for Human Resources and learning & development - which indicated that 84% of businesses were grappling with skills shortages.

Skillnet Ireland works with businesses and employees to develop their skills, making them more adaptable to the ever more complex world of work and, by extension, enhancing the competitiveness of firms.

"Upskilling has never been more important. We are calling on businesses and employees to avail of the services and supports available," Paul Healy, chief executive of Skillnet Ireland said.

"Our approach is to allow industry and workers to identify training needs for themselves that's highly relevant to their jobs and to their business."

The training is part-subsidised by the state, making it efficient and effective for both the employer and the employee.


"The best way to get access to some of the funding is to get involved in Skillnet Ireland. It's available across all industry sectors and we have a strong regional presence," Paul Healy explained.

The survey identified ICT (information and communication technologies) and financial services as particular trouble spots when it comes to skills shortages.

"That is consistent with what we see. With the economy at full employment, we're seeing a tightening labour market across several sectors. In ICT, it's averaging in and around 10,000 open vacancies per month from entry level right up to big data, artificial intelligence and so on," Paul Healy said.

Skillnet Ireland says the challenge of full employment has necessitated the development of more imaginative ways of sourcing skills in the economy.

"We work with women rejoiners, for example, in the IT sector in particular, where we are helping and encouraging women - who may have left the workforce for various reasons - to get back into the workforce.

We help them to upskill and find a placement and the conversion rate to employment is very high," he stated.