7th April 2021

Skillnet Ireland and Minister Harris and Ryan launch ‘Climate Ready’ programme to prepare Irish businesses for climate change

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris, Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications Eamon Ryan and Skillnet Ireland Chief Executive Paul Healy today launched Climate Ready, a five-year national climate upskilling initiative developed in partnership with industry to equip businesses with the skills they need to respond to climate change. Skillnet Ireland, together with the private sector, will invest over €10 million in the Climate Ready initiative from 2021-2025.

Developed to support Government’s Climate Action Plan and the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Bill, Climate Ready will offer Irish businesses the practical skills and insights they need to respond to climate change and to manage the challenges and opportunities transitioning to a low-carbon economy presents.

Climate Ready sees Skillnet Ireland partner with Chambers Ireland, Wind Energy Ireland, Sustainable Finance Ireland and Central Solutions to support over 1,100 companies and 3,000 workers throughout Ireland in its first year. Leveraging Skillnet Ireland’s experience in delivering upskilling and management development to 18,000 businesses annually, Climate Ready will offer several pathways for businesses to build sustainable operating models and develop green talent.

Climate Ready includes:

  • Climate Ready Academy: Offering a suite of practical and specialised learning supports for businesses in the areas of climate action and sustainability;
  • Climate Ready Cluster: A dynamic group of Skillnet Business Networks already delivering substantial expertise for Irish businesses in renewable energy and green technology; environmental, water and energy management; and sustainable finance; and
  • Climate Ready Insights: A centralised platform dedicated to helping businesses advance their thinking and actions around sustainable practices and climate change.

Speaking today, Minister Harris said: “Irish businesses have seen significant upheaval over the past year due to Covid-19 and Brexit. Climate change is a reality for businesses too and it is essential we help businesses prepare for this radical change.

“Businesses will need new skills to respond to these challenges. Skillnet Ireland’s Climate Ready programme supports our climate goals by providing every Irish business with the opportunity to build the skills they need to prepare for this challenge and capitalise on the many opportunities the green economy will offer. We will start with over 1,000 businesses and seek to expand this further over the next five years.”

Minister for the Environment, Climate, and Communications, Eamon Ryan TD said: “The Climate Action Bill approved by government commits Ireland to halving greenhouse gas emissions by the end of the decade and achieving net-zero by 2050. The actions taken by business will be critical to achieving these ambitions. Climate Ready will equip Irish businesses to prepare for this transformation of our economy, ensuring we can achieve a cleaner, greener and more prosperous future for us all.”

Paul Healy, Skillnet Ireland Chief Executive, said: Practically every industry, business and job will be impacted by climate action in some way over the coming decade. Working side by side with industry, we have developed Climate Ready to ensure Irish businesses have access to the leading edge supports they need to build sustainable operating models and develop the talent to respond to this shift. Taking action now is critical to ensuring our businesses remain resilient and competitive as we tackle the challenges posed by climate change.”

Chambers Ireland Chief Executive Ian Talbot said: Chambers Ireland is proud to partner with Skillnet Ireland on its new Climate Ready initiative. We believe that equipping businesses with the right skills to tackle climate action is essential and that sustainability should form a key part of the agenda as the economy recovers. Through the combined networks of our local Chambers and Skillnet Ireland, we can make a real and tangible contribution to building sustainable and competitive businesses and communities.

Climate Ready supports the aims of the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science’s Statement of Strategy (2021-2023) in respect of climate action, ensuring the provision of a workforce skilled in sustainable techniques and technologies.

For more information, visit www.climateready.ie

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