Name: Adele O’Meallaigh
Occupation: Network Manager, Galway Executive Skillnet
Location: Galway Technology Park, Parkmore
CV: A former SME owner/manager, Waterford native Ms O’Meallaigh has also worked as a production manager on television programmes and, having spent several years in New York, has worked and lived in Galway for the past 20 years.
The economic conditions and resulting challenges for companies has meant that many employees are finding themselves required to take on tasks they would not previously been required to do, such as supervisory management or sales and marketing. This makes up-skilling more important now than ever, according to Galway Executive Skillnet (GES) Network Manager Adele O’Meallaigh.
“What we’re finding is because of restructuring, the girl who was, say, the receptionist is now being asked to also make cold calls, or the person who was one of the team members is now the team leader,” she explains. “They need help in actually identifying how to address the new role.”
A training network that provides Government subsidised training to companies, employees and jobseekers, GES aims to improve the competitiveness of local companies, and provide greater access for workers to industry-specific skills development. It does this by facilitating training in areas that companies may have identified deficiencies, such as communications, team building, negotiation skills, time management and supply chain management.
“It’s 100 per cent enterprise led; we respond to their needs,” explains Ms O’Meallaigh. “We like to see ourselves as not only providing the training but providing any assistance that companies need to make them more profitable, effective, for example free seminars or information events during the year.”
All courses, which are delivered by experienced trainers, are tailored to the needs of the participating companies, which include a range of local SMEs and multinationals, such as McCambridge’s Galway, Goodman Medical Ireland and EA Games. Over 1,200 employees from some 300 private companies around Galway took part in GES training last year.
The organisation is grant aided through Skillnets Ltd, which is funded through the Department of Education and Skills and, on average, 25 per cent of the cost of the training is grant aided by GES, with the balance being paid by the participant company.
As well as being affordable for smaller businesses, GES also offers free training places on some courses – and the associated networking opportunities – to jobseekers and former sole traders who may now find themselves without work or entitled to social welfare benefits.
“Which in some cases has meant they can maybe identify another area that they have an interest in or some skills in but wouldn’t have been their main occupation in the past,” explains Ms O’Meallaigh.
GES also run courses for jobseekers in perceived growth areas where there is employment potential and will shortly be running a FETAC carers course for those who want to enter the home care sector.
Upcoming GES courses in April and May include: Train the Trainer FETAC Level 6, Team Building, Negotiation Skills, Finance for Non Financial Managers, Excel Intermediate, Primary Food Safety, Time Management and Supply Chain Management. A full list of courses where free places are available can be viewed on www.galwayexecutiveskillnet.com.
Under the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs, a new incentive scheme to encourage employers to recruit the long term unemployed is set to be rolled out this summer and GES will also hold a free breakfast event on Tuesday 23 April in the Pillo Hotel from 8am to 9.30am, providing information for local companies who want to avail of the new incentives. Booking is essential.
For more information on Galway Executive Skillnet, contact Adele at firstname.lastname@example.org or 085-7491564 or check out www.galwayexecutiveskillnet.com.