Government have recently launched Skills for Better Business, a two-part initiative aimed at assisting SME owners and managers across Ireland.
Skills for Better Business comprises an Online Tool for management skills assessment, complemented by a sign-posting resource providing quick contact information for management education and training.
On foot of recommendations by the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs in its 2020 management skills report, Leading the Way, a consortium of 14 partners from public and private sectors have worked together to develop the resources and content for the project.
The Online Assessment developed and project-managed for the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment by Skillnet Ireland, in conjunction with the other partner organisations, allows SME owners and managers to assess their own management skills in less than ten minutes by answering a series of questions about their management capabilities.
They will then receive a bespoke report outlining their current level of skills and identify critical areas to improve upon. The Courses and Contacts resource allows them then to see at a glance the range of education and training providers, and provider groups, in Ireland, and to make contact immediately with an advisor who can direct them to the training and education they need.
The Leading the Way report found that the attitude of SME owners and managers to management development is central and recommends that management development must be a top strategic priority for all SMEs in Ireland. SMEs account for almost 70% of total employment in the business economy, so improving their performance is vital in helping to lift the whole economy. Skills for Better Business makes it easier for busy SME owners and managers to make this strategic priority a reality by continuing their management development journey.