- 29 Oct 20
The world of work and business will arguably be even more competitive post-Covid-19 than it’s ever been, so it makes sense now to give serious consideration to adding to your portfolio of skills in order to maximise your personal career potential and the long-term prospects for your company.
MentorsWork is a programme available through Skillnet Ireland, a business support agency of the Government of Ireland. Skillnet Ireland aims are to improve the competitiveness, productivity and innovation of Irish businesses through such initiatives as MentorsWork.
They believe that a highly-skilled workforce is essential for our national competitiveness and for Irish businesses to thrive.
Liz Thomas is Strategic Project Consultant at Skillnet Ireland, and she’s keen to emphasise that this somewhat unique opportunity is available to small companies with a workforce of as few as five, right up to companies with a staff of more than 250.
“We are supporting more than 18,000 businesses throughout the country, and we provide a broad range of key learning experiences to more than 70,000 trainees,” she says. “We facilitate increased participation in enterprise training and workforce learning in Ireland.”
She describes MentorsWork as a “free, structured, 8-week online business-support programme. It’s designed to provide small and medium-sized companies with expert business mentoring, skills and supports that will help them thrive by addressing their specific business needs.”
The programme has a direct and crucial application during these Pandemic times. In fact, as Liz Thomas stresses, “an initial MentorsWork programme was launched in April of this year to help over 300 companies deal with the immediate challenges caused by the fall-out of the Covid-19 lockdown.”
Clearly it’s been an unqualified success, as companies already using the programme come from a wide range of business sectors, from services and agriculture across to retail, IT, manufacturing, and food and drink.
It’s clear to many observers, both within and outside the business sector, that there’s been a monumental shift in people’s attitude to where they work, with countless tales of employees discovering that working from home has many benefits, and companies also seeing advantages in employees working even partly from home, even when lockdowns are not in place.
This shift in attitudes also impacts on the education sector, with people now eager to explore and embrace opportunities to learn new skills from the comfort and convenience of their own homes. It’s being assumed that this change of approach will prevail long after Covid-19 fades into the background going forward.
As Liz Thomas explains, “The supports our free programme offer include one-to-one mentoring sessions and peer-focused expert-led workshops. Participants also have access to thought-leader masterclasses, and to a curated online learning platform. Companies these days are often driven by a desire to find a competitive edge in a demanding trading environment, and MentorsWork is intended to stimulate just that. To that end, participating businesses are paired with a sector-specific mentor at the very beginning of the programme.”
• Full details of the MentorsWork on-line programme are available from mentorswork.ie