‘Tipperary is a wonderful place to live and work’
New Skillnet manager sets out her vision for the county
County Tipperary Skillnet has a new Network Manager bringing fresh enthusiasm to a body that helps promote upskilling to local enterprises, and which will hold a sustainability event in Nenagh on December 7.
Littleton native Louise Haughney was appointed County Tipperary Skillnet Network Manager around a month ago. With a multi-experienced background, which includes working with impoverished children in Kolkata, Louise has been quickly adapting to the new role and bringing a multitude of new ideas to the Skillnet table.
Based in Clonmel and promoted by the County Tipperary Chamber, Skillnet seeks to increase participation in training in the county to help businesses of all sizes identify and develop the talent they need to succeed. County Tipperary Skillnet helps businesses identify skills gaps, source trainers, adapt content and provide funding to help them to get the most out of training.
“We offer subsidised learning and development, flexible delivery and can save time on procurement and administration around training,” Louise explained. “We can also offer bespoke in-company training.
“The County Tipperary Skillnet Steering Committee helps to drive enterprise-led solutions to current and future skills needs for the county and we would love to hear from any business interested in joining it.”
Joining County Tipperary Skillnet as Network Manager in October, Louise’s role is to manage, facilitate the training needs that have been identified both by the Steering Committee and individual businesses in Tipperary, and promote all training provided across the county. It is a busy task, and one that brings with it a lot of responsibility, but Louise matches it with her passion for her county.
“I passionately believe that Tipperary is a wonderful place to live and work, and the more supports available to businesses in the county to advance their competitiveness, productivity, and innovation, the better for all.”
‘TIPPERARY CALLED ME BACK!’
Louise also brings to her role a diverse background that began in London, where she lived for 10 years. She spent several of those years working for a consumer advocacy group called Which?
She then returned to Ireland and worked in a series of roles with Roadstone Provinces for the next 12 years. Her main role was Customer Service and Training Manager.
In 2013, Louise returned to full-time education and graduated from LIT with a First-Class Honours Degree in Business.
“I enjoyed my time at the Thurles campus of TUS (formerly LIT) and my lecturers were incredibly supportive,” Louise told of going back to education. “On finishing college, I joined The Hope Foundation as Fundraising, Education & Programmes Co-ordinator.
“The Hope Foundation is a Cork-based charity dedicated to promoting the protection of street and slum children in Kolkata. I had spent time in Kolkata working as a volunteer and continued to volunteer with them on my return. It was a challenging role, but the most rewarding aspect was travelling with TY students from schools all over the country to visit the Kolkata projects.
“Tipperary called me back! I joined the team at Setanta College in Thurles as Accounts Manager where I stayed for seven enjoyable years. During my time at Setanta, I began my studies with Chartered Accountants Ireland and am slowly but surely working my way through their programme.”
Now living in Cashel, when the opportunity arose to join County Tipperary Skillnet, Louise rightly felt that with her experience to date in business, and with a training background, she would relish the opportunity to promote upskilling to all enterprises in Tipperary.
A TRAINING JOURNEY
Since her appointment a month ago, Louise has been on her own training journey learning about the various processes involved in managing County Tipperary Skillnet. These include the procurement process for training companies, analysing the learning needs analysis surveys, the day-to-day administration, managing the budget for 2022 and planning training requirements for 2023.
She is also looking at developing several ideas that she believes will help County Tipperary Skillnet improve its support to local enterprise.
“There are a number of areas where businesses across the county would benefit from training to help them develop their own strategies for the future,” Louise said.
“One area is digitalisation; it is the root of large-scale and sweeping transformations across multiple aspects of business, providing opportunities for value creation. It can be challenging for SMEs to adopt such strategies but a potential risk for them if not addressed.
“Another area is Sustainability for Business – training to help businesses to create long-term value by taking into consideration how a given business operates in the ecological, social, and economic environments. There are many benefits to developing sustainability strategies including increased profits because of increased efficiencies, improved public image, greater employee satisfaction and enhanced social responsibility, and in the short-term can help businesses save on their energy costs. A huge consideration in the current climate.
“Currently, our most in-demand training programmes are around Leadership Skills, and we plan to continue to offer such training to all companies. Successful leaders can transform businesses, enhance the value creation, create efficiencies, and help with the motivation and retention of staff. Our plan at County Tipperary Skillnet is to engage with all businesses across what is a very large county. We will continually look for ways to communicate our services to businesses of all sizes, from micro companies, SMEs to the larger multinationals operating in Tipperary.”
County Tipperary Skillnet will be holding its final Sustainability event for 2022 in the Abbey Court Hotel, Nenagh, on Wednesday, December 7 from 11am to 2pm. A number of speakers are lined up, including Davie Philip of Sustainable Ireland Co-op; Allyson English, Jigsaw Better Business; Aidan Flynn, CEO, Freight Transport Association, and Seamus Hoyne, Dean of Flexible and Work Place Learning, TUS. There will be a number of stands on the day to help businesses with information on grants and services available. “It will be a great networking event, and a light lunch will be provided,” Louise said. “After the speakers have finished, anyone attending the event are welcome to introduce their company to the audience.” To find out more, visit the website countytipperaryskillnet.com, or contact Louise at 086 0428668 / email@example.com.