Paul Healy and Brendan McGinty launch the Skillnet Ireland 5-year Strategy to 'Transform Irish Business through Talent'. (Picture: Keith Arkins)

A strategy setting out ambitious targets over the course of the next five years to increase Skillnet Ireland’s engagement with business and industry launched this week, aimed at doubling the numbers participating in talent development programmes and focusing on the challenges of digital transformation and climate change.

The new strategy, Transforming Business Through Talent 2021-2025, seeks to expand Skillnet Ireland’s ongoing activities by increasing the number of businesses supported by Skillnet Ireland to 30,000 annually by 2025.

Skillnet Ireland will also provide supports to 100,000 workers annually by the end of 2025 and double the investment in upskilling the Irish workforce to €100 million annually.

Amongst the new initiatives contained within the strategy, two new key initiatives for the next five years across the areas of digital transformation and the implications of climate change for the Irish workforce have been identified.

The strategy highlights the importance of introducing greater digitalisation of processes and seeks to develop the skills needed as Ireland transitions to a low carbon and environmentally sustainable economy. 

Speaking at the launch of the new strategy Brendan McGinty, Chairperson of Skillnet Ireland said: “At Skillnet Ireland we are building a world class, enterprise-led organisation to prepare businesses and workers for the future of work.

“The experience and expertise we have gained over the last 20 years and models we have developed will support us in helping business to recover, transform and grow. We are proud of the work we do to support businesses, the majority of which are small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).”


The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted some of the extra challenges facing businesses. Since the onset of the pandemic, Skillnet Ireland has implemented a series of new initiatives which have supported, and will continue to support, Irish businesses and the workforce who have been most impacted by the pandemic.

Mr McGinty continued: “We are ambitious for Ireland and for Irish enterprise and our new strategy reflects the need for Ireland to have a highly skilled and agile workforce. Skillnet Ireland will drive that agenda, both in terms of increasing numbers of businesses supported and expanding into new areas.

“We are doing this by setting ourselves ambitious targets, focussed on the three key themes of Workforce Design, People Development and Strategic Innovation.”

‘Transforming Business Through Talent 2021-2025’ was informed by an extensive multi-stakeholder consultation working with industry partners and peer organisations to deliver a strategy that will develop Ireland’s future workforce.

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris said: “I welcome the strategic emphasis that Skillnet Ireland is giving to the innovation ecosystem in Ireland over the coming years, by promoting industry and academia collaborations to address future skills and producing valuable industry insights and research.

“I look forward to working with Skillnet Ireland and its enterprise partners on the implementation of this ambitious strategy to support the transformation of Irish business through talent.”

To learn more about Skillnet Ireland, please visit