ManagementWorks supports creation of more than 750 jobs


An independent evaluation conducted by Indecon concluded that more than 750 jobs* were created across all companies participating in ManagementWorks, a Skillnets management development programme for SMEs. These results were achieved in 2015, and participating companies attributed the success either directly or indirectly to participation in the programme. 

ManagementWorks provides training and mentoring support for SME owner / managers, and is one of four programmes that Skillnets, the Government-funded agency tasked with addressing enterprise needs, operates. Other programmes include the Finuas Networks Programme, designed to support international financial services firms; and the Job-seekers Support Programme (JSSP) for unemployed people. The main body of training however is conducted through the agency’s Training Networks Programme (TNP) of which there are more than 60 sectoral and regional-specific training networks across a variety of sectors including animation, ICT, medtech, agriculture, manufacturing, food and retail. 

In addition, Indecon’s value-for-money assessment concluded that the Skillnets Job-seekers Support Programme (JSSP) provided a positive net return to the Exchequer. Reduced job-seeker payments combined with tax receipts more than offset programme costs, as 55% of job-seeker trainees progress to employment following Skillnets’ training courses. 

The report also found that the majority of participants in Skillnets’ training programmes last year were from the SME sector, 94% of whom were satisfied with the quality of Skillnets training and 92% said that this training represented value for money.  During 2015 the SME sector benefited from 322,000 training days delivered by Skillnets. Some 69% of companies said involvement with Skillnets had improved business processes and/ or productivity, and enhanced competitiveness. 

Commenting on the launch of this publication, Brendan McGinty, Chairman, Skillnets said; “The Indecon report showed positive results, proving that the Skillnets’ model is not only meeting, but exceeding the learning and development needs of SMEs. A large majority (89%) of firms felt that being a member of a Skillnets’ training network had a positive impact on addressing skills gaps within their organisation and enhanced the long-term performance of their business (76%). A majority of companies also felt that Skillnets’ membership has had a positive impact on staff engagement (74%), service or product quality (74%) and attraction or retention of staff (53%).”

“The most important part of our training model is that it is cost effective, and business-led. Our model is embedded in enterprise and heavily focused on training impact. We are flexible in our approach and can move quickly to address skills needs across Irish business and respond to these ever-changing demands,” said Paul Healy, CEO, Skillnets. 

In 2015, Skillnets supported approximately 13,000 companies, facilitating training for more than 48,000 employees and job-seekers. Last year €25.6m was invested in training and development within Irish enterprise, of which €13.9m was invested by Skillnets and €11.7m by member companies.   

“Through insights developed by working on the ground with our member companies, we are well placed to ensure training interventions are relevant to the needs of enterprise and are of a high standard. For example, our dedicated Future Skills Needs Programme (FSNP) is designed to address highly bespoke emerging skills needs, and we have a track record in developing innovative new courses, including a series of bespoke qualifications in software development, medical technologies and aviation finance,” said Healy. 

Key figures from the Indecon report include: 

Membership Benefits and Impact on Enterprise 

  • 94% were satisfied with the quality of Skillnets training.

  • 92% found that Skillnets training represented value for money.

  • 76% reported that being a member of a Skillnet network has enhanced the long-term performance of their business.

  • 74% reported that Skillnets membership has enhanced their service or product quality.

  • 55% of job seeker trainees progress to employment following Skillnets’ training courses.

  • In relation to management development, 77% of members reported that they are more likely to invest in management training as a result of ManagementWorks, while 82% reported that involvement in ManagementWorks had increased their competitiveness.

  • 41% of client SMEs in Ireland said their turnover has increased as a result of Skillnets courses.  

  • Over 42,000 employed people trained with Skillnets during 322,000 training days 

  • 7,700 unemployed people trained with Skillnets’ networks during 2015.

Skillnets recently launched their Statement of Strategy 2016-2019, which will see a renewed focus on enterprise growth and competitiveness. Skillnets has also indicated in its strategy that it will increase its contribution to the development of labour market policy in the area of skills development, based on analysis and research drawn from its broad access to enterprise. One area of focus for the organisation is an increased role in maintaining a supply of the specific and future skills that impact on the growth potential of Irish firms. This will assist in meeting the skill needs required for 200,000 new jobs targeted by the Government over the next five years, whilst simultaneously meeting the demand for an estimated 400,000 job replacements by 2020. 

*Indecon estimated that between 747 and 983 jobs* were created across all ManagementWorks companies during 2015 which these enterprises attributed (directly or indirectly) to participation in the Management Development Programme. This range is based on lower and upper bound limits using 95% confidence interval.  

View full report on the Skillnets website here

For further information, contact

Jane McGahern, Communications Specialist, Skillnets.

Tel. 01 207 9630 / 087 9795369


Tel: +353 86 8372388

Enda Hogan is a Programme Support Manager with Skillnets. Enda's primary role within the ManagementWorks team is around marketing and promotion in order to build awareness of the ManagementWorks suite of programmes. He is the editor of the monthly newsletter - Management Matters!

Enda has twenty years of management experience and has worked extensively with SMEs, training networks and membership organisations in Ireland to improve business performance through investment in training and professional development.