Skills audit of the Midlands


The Midlands Gateway Chamber, in conjunction with the Implementation Forum, commissioned the survey to identify those skills that employers feel are required to achieve their business objectives. The research was conducted amongst indigenous small-medium enterprises (SMEs) and large multinationals in counties Laois, Longford, Offaly, Roscommon and Westmeath. The research was conducted in late 2008, with one-quarter of the 230 large employer organisations (more than 50 staff) and a further 107 smaller organisations completing the survey. Midland Skill Audit 24 Apr 09

Skills Audit of the Midlands

KEY FINDINGS of the report include: For smaller organisations, management skills are the highest priority, while sales and marketing skills are a priority for almost half the organisations surveyed. For larger organisations, management skills are a key need with almost 60 per cent of organisations indicating this to be a priority. IT, technical and innovation skills were all a top priority for 10 per cent of large organisations. Management and sales/marketing skills are one of the two top skill needs across all sectors with technical and health and safety/environmental skills important in the manufacturing, public sector and construction sectors. KEY RECOMMENDATIONS INCLUDE Midlands Gateway Chamber and the Implementation Forum should agree a specific action plan for the Gateway with the IDA, Enterprise Ireland, FÁS, AIT and other relevant agencies to address the priority skill needs across the region. This action plan should include an internet portal that brings together all training and education courses on offer. It also calls for the establishment of a system that regularly assesses the region’s skills base and a further needs assessment of unemployed people and persons who did not complete secondary school. * For employers, the report suggests that organisations should address the key training issues identified in the survey of making employees available for training and enhancing the mechanisms to allow employees take advantage of the flexible course offerings of education and training providers. The report also states that smaller organisations should invest more in employee training and consider the benefits of increased attention to human resources. Midland Skill Audit 24 Apr 09


Professor Ciarán Ó Catháin, President Athlone Institute of Technology and Past-President Midlands Gateway Chamber


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