A €10m initiative called Climate Ready will train 1,100 businesses and 3,000 workers with the skills they’ll need to respond to climate change.

Skillnet Ireland has partnered with Chambers Ireland, Wind Energy Ireland, and Sustainable Finance Ireland to support over 1,100 companies and 3,000 workers throughout Ireland in preparing for the challenges and opportunities climate change will bring for businesses.

Yesterday (7 April) Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris, TD, and Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan, TD, have launched Climate Ready, a five-year national climate initiative from Skillnet Ireland designed to equip businesses with the skills they need to respond to climate change.

“Practically every industry, business and job will be impacted by climate action in some way over the coming decade”

The programme will include training on how to reduce energy waste, deliver cost savings and protect the environment.

“Irish businesses have seen significant upheaval over the past year due to Covid-19 and Brexit,” said Minister Harris.

“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.”

Education and training

The Climate Ready programme will also see the expansion of Water Stewardship programme, which helps businesses reduce water consumption

It will include online courses designed to assist staff at all levels to understand how their sustainable actions will play a vital role in Ireland’s collective response to climate action.

Climate Ready will also include a series of educational engagements with experts, who will share best practice on sustainability-related topics

“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,” said Minister Ryan.

“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.”

“Practically every industry, business and job will be impacted by climate action in some way over the coming decade,” said Paul Healy, chief executive of Skillnet Ireland.

“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.”

The move was welcomed by Chambers Ireland CEO Ian Talbot. “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.”

By John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 8 April 2021

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