New Skillnet 4 Year Strategy Launched

Pictured at the launch of the Skillnets’ Statement of Strategy 2016-2019 are Katie Kerins South West Gno Skillnet , Paul Healy Skillnets Chief Executive, Aoife O’ Reilly South Kerry Skillnet


Skillnets launched its four-year strategy on 3rd November 2016.  The strategy was developed following a thorough consultation process with key stakeholders, including South Kerry Skillnet, and is closely aligned to the National Skills Strategy 2025 and other relevant policies. Speaking at the launch of Skillnets’ Statement of Strategy 2016-2019, Paul Healy, Chief Executive, Skillnets said: “Skillnets will be playing an increased role in maintaining a supply of the specific and future skills that impact on the growth potential of Irish firms. By working on the ground with our networks and member companies, we are exceptionally well placed with the intelligence and insights to ensure training interventions are relevant to the needs of enterprise and are of a high standard.”

Over the next four years, South Kerry Skillnet Skillnets will play a pivotal role in delivering a supply of specific skills and future skills to ensure economic growth and bring real results to enterprise with the region

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Kerry Social Farming initiative receives major boost through securing National Pilot Project

The Kerry Social Farming initiative, which has been run by South Kerry Development Partnership and the Kerry Social Farming Committee over the last number of years, received a major boost in the last week with the signing of a contract to roll out a National Social Farming Pilot Project in the county. In addition to the contract to roll out the pilot project, SKDP has also been successful as part of a consortium with Leitrim Local Development Company, in securing a contract to develop National Social Farming Network.

Both contract were awarded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and are seen as recognition of the work of SKDP and the Kerry Social Farming Committee over the last three years. This new pilot project will see the number of host farmers throughout Kerry participating in the initiative rise to 15 from a current level of 9 with a corresponding increase in the level of participants from a current number of 26.

The initiative involves people with disabilities being able to spend time with a host farmer in a safe and friendly environment both enjoying the experience of working with the animals on the farm as well as learning farm skills, life skills, connecting with the rural community and build relationships with the family farm members. The Social Farming initiative works in co-operation with many agencies in the county including KCC, disability service providers, the HSE and NEWKD amongst others. It is also supported through the Rural Social Scheme and the TÚS programme.

In welcoming the awarding of the contract SKDP CEO Noel Spillane said that this pilot project will increase the opportunities for young adults with intellectual disabilities (probably the group in our society who suffer the greatest levels of social exclusion) to participate in additional social, recreational and work activities and has provided an opportunity to both participants and host farmers to learn from each other.

Joseph McCrohan of SKDP, who has been directly involved with the social farming initiative since is beginning in Kerry said he was delighted the efforts of all involved in the scheme to date have been recognise by the Department in awarding this contract to Kerry. “Many farmers have expresses an interest in getting involved with the Social Farming initiative and this project will now enable us to engage with them and get them directly involved.

One of the host farm participants involved, George Kelly of Hazelfort Farm in Ballymallis, said that this initiative is one of the most rewarding projects he has ever been involved with. He said that in his experience the host farmer in many ways gets nearly more enjoyment and satisfaction from having the young adults on the farm with them and seeing them develop that the participants themselves and he would strongly encourage other farmers to get involved.

Any new farmers interested in finding out more about the Social Farming Project should contact Joseph McCrohan in South Kerry Development Partnership Ltd. in Cahersiveen or Dave Fitzgibbons in North, East & West Kerry Development.


Very Positive response to South Kerry Skillnets “Knowledge Café” Event

Very positive feedback was received from the more than 50 participants that took part in the South Kerry Skillnet organised Knowledge Café event in the Brehon Hotel recently with participants saying the format lent itself very well to engaging with the information providers. The event was aimed at showcasing the range of potential training opportunities that are available to businesses in the region through the Skillnets programme.

Among those on hand to provide the advice and information we Caroline Mc Enery of The HR Suite, Business Coach Sean Foran, Vincent Leonard of LBS Partners, Heidi Grimwood, Jennifer Marshall of The HR Suite and Pitman Training’s Tomas Finneran. In addition to receiving information on the range of training opportunities potentially available to them, the event also provided business owners with the opportunity to network and make new connections with other business owners from throughout the county.

South Kerry Skillnet Manager Aoife O’Reilly said she was delighted with the turnout at the event and the positive feedback from those taking part. “It is the first time we have tried to deliver information to business in such a format and it seems to have proven to be very popular with them” she said. Aoife added that having gotten a taste of the type of training that is available through the Skillnet programme, she will now work with all of the range of businesses present to ensure they can arrange to provide them with the necessary training they need for both themselves and their staff. “Businesses both big and small recognise the importance of learning new skills and updating their current skills and I would encourage anyone interested in undertaking training to contact South Kerry Skillnet to see how we can assist them in meeting their training needs” Aoife said.




Community Consultation Meetings – This Week

South Kerry Development Partnership CLG., through the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP), is hosting a number of public consultation meetings on Wednesday and Thursday this week.

The topic for discussion is “Ways of working to address disadvantage in your community”

The meetings will be addressed by Guest Speakers Dr. Brendan O’Keeffe of Mary Immaculate College Limerick and Dr. Caroline Crowley of Crowley Research who specialises in data collection in this area.

The meetings will take place in the following venues and dates:

Wednesday 16th November – 7.30pm in The Glencar Community Centre

Thursday 17th November – 12 Midday in Ballinskelligs Community Centre

Thursday 17th November – 7.30pm in Cromane Community Centre

The meetings are open to all members of the public in these areas and everyone is invited to attend.

Should you require further information please contact John McCrohan by phone on 066 9472724 or 087 6187629.