Wexford companies are increasingly taking up opportunities for training and up-skilling of staff to meet business needs.
Figures from the Annual Report of Skillnets, the national agency responsible for funding and supporting over 60 learning networks nationwide, reveal that the number of businesses accessing subsidised training in Wexford grew by 34 per cent last year.
A total of 409 businesses invested in their staff across a range of sectors in the county.
Across Ireland, more than 14,000 businesses are investing in their staff across a range of sectors.
Ninety two percent of the member companies that benefited from investment in training through Skillnets in 2016 were SMEs. 'The development and retention of skilled talent is critical to the competitiveness and growth of the Irish economy and to the firms that underpin it, said Skillnets Chairman, Brendan McGinty.
'2016 was a positive year for Skillnets, €25.9m was invested in learning and development through Skillnets networks with member companies committing €12.8m, and a co-investment from Skillnets of a further €13.1m. 'A growing demand for the Skillnets offering was evident with over 50,000 trainees participating across all of our programmes.
'A greater investment in the up-skilling of our enterprise leaders and employees will be a central component of our response to the challenges within our economy, including Brexit. Skillnets is well positioned to assist with this challenge,' said Mr McGinty.
2016 also saw the launch of Skillnets' Statement of Strategy 2016-2019.
The strategy contains ambitious actions designed to enable Skillnets make the optimum contribution to the national skills agenda.
The strategy is also aligned with Ireland's National Skills Strategy 2025 and Action Plan for Education 2017.
One of the aims of Ireland's National Skills Strategy 2025 is to promote the benefits of lifelong learning among individuals, the self-employed and employers.