Businesses in Cork have been adapting and upskilling over the last 18 months in order to weather the Covid-19 storm. Photo: Michelle Donovan

Up(skill) the Rebels!

The unfaltering resilience and optimism of Cork businesses is clearer than ever right now with record levels of companies looking to upskill their workforce.

It’s this determination that has helped Leeside business leaders to weather the storm of the past 18 months only to come out stronger on the other side.

CEO at Cork Chamber, Conor Healy said Cork’s economic resilience is a testament to the positive attitudes and strong leadership in business across the region. “In a challenging 18 months, business optimism in Cork has remained high throughout, with our economic trends recording 90 per cent confidence at Q2 2021 - a very encouraging trend and a significant improvement on the same quarter last year which saw confidence at 73 per cent,” he said.

Business adaptability has been another key factor since the first lockdown with organisations of all sizes responding quickly to the dramatic changes brought about by Covid. Many completely reshaped their operations, supporting teams in adapting and upskilling to suit new demands and customer preferences.

Garrett O’ Rourke, Training Network Manager at Cork Chamber Skillnet, has seen first-hand the region’s diverse companies placing workforce design and people development as top priorities in their strategic planning.

Mr O’ Rourke said: “As working environments become more complex, developing people is an essential strategy to achieve business goals. Last year Cork Chamber Skillnet experienced a significant increase of in-house bespoke training sessions, a trend which has continued into 2021. “Companies and teams demonstrated a progressive and practical approach in their response to the changed environment and sought to upskill in areas that would have a meaningful impact and show real results.”

The wider national Skillnet Ireland network upskilled 81,895 people in 2020, supporting over 21,600 companies in the process.

The network boasted 9,110 diverse subsidised training programs which have been a valued resource for Ireland’s indigenous and international companies.

Talent is one of the most valuable resources to every business and planning for a strong, resilient and innovative workforce positions businesses ahead of the curve and helps everyone adapt to the future world of work.

Cork Chamber Skillnet specialises in facilitating subsidised training in areas including management development, leadership, professional skills, and digital and design.