IDA and Skillnet Ireland announce strategic talent development partnership June 2022

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IDA Ireland and Skillnet Ireland have launched a strategic talent development partnership. The partnership is aimed at supporting foreign direct investment (FDI) companies who are looking to attract and retain talent to drive business growth.

The two enterprise state agencies are collaborating to develop new programmes and engagement models to assist multinational companies (MNCs) in availing of talent development initiatives offered across Skillnet Ireland’s 73 networks nationwide.


The partnership combines the IDA’s business development and support services for FDI companies with Skillnet Ireland’s talent development expertise and extensive delivery network to help drive companies’ growth.

275,000 people were employed by FDI companies in Ireland in 2021, accounting for nearly 12% of the total Irish workforce. Additionally, multinationals accounted for 32% of all corporate employments and paid €10.5bn in employment taxes and PRSI in 2019. The partnership kicked off with a pilot Strategic Talent Development programme for companies seeking to future-proof their workforce based on new strategic challenges and opportunities they are facing. The pilot programme ran successfully and is now up and running with companies from financial services, biopharmaceutical, aviation communications, manufacturing, and software development sectors.

Speaking at the event launch, Robert Troy, Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment said: “In our current global environment, with rapid digitalisation and the need to be more environmentally sustainable, the talent and skills needed to stay apace with these important developments are continuously evolving, and it is vital that businesses can efficiently and effectively fulfil these needs.

“For businesses across Ireland, particularly MNCs, the value of attracting and retaining talent cannot be understated. Ireland is renowned for developing and nurturing talent and the Government continues to prioritise responding to current and future labour market skills needs. The partnership between IDA Ireland and Skillnet Ireland is an important step to ensure Ireland remains an attractive and competitive place to live, work, and invest.”

Niall Collins, Minister of State at the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science added: “I am pleased to be launching this new Strategic Partnership between Skillnet Ireland and IDA Ireland, a partnership which is critical to support the long-term success and growth of multi-national companies in Ireland through innovative and high-impact talent development programmes and initiatives. As the economy continues to grow post-pandemic, investing in and developing talent remains vital for FDI companies so they can meet their ongoing business challenges. The contribution of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to the Irish economy is far reaching and intrinsic to our economic development making collaborations like this all the more important to Ireland’s long-term economic success.”

Mary Buckley, Executive Director, IDA Ireland, said: “We are delighted to be working with Skillnet Ireland on our new Strategic Talent Development Partnership. The partnership supports IDA’s clients to build a robust approach to long term talent development that will support the sustainable growth of their Irish operations within an increasingly competitive global environment. Strategic talent development planning is increasingly important for enterprises to meet changing demands and Skillnet Ireland business networks can bring new opportunities for IDA’s clients. In fact, IDA client companies who have participated in the programme are already realising added value to their operations. As this partnership evolves IDA will expand its offering to provide more strategic programmes and deepen our collaboration with Skillnet Ireland.”

Lynda Boylan, Head of Strategic Partnerships, Skillnet Ireland said: “This is an exciting new strategic partnership between the two leading state enterprise agencies in the FDI space. It builds on the great work of Skillnet Business Networks who already support nearly 1000 multinational companies across Ireland. The global pandemic, growing digitalisation of work practices and the need for organisations to become more sustainable, have brought into sharper focus the need for MNCs to ensure they are resourced with the right talent to support both short- and long-term business growth.”