Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Patrick O’Donovan TD today congratulated Skillnet Ireland after it was ranked first in the world for best practice in the area of upskilling initiatives for enterprise.
The findings of the ‘Pact for Skills: Analysing of up- and reskilling policy initiatives and identifying best practices’ report published by the European Commission also ranked Skillnet Ireland number one out of 47 operations worldwide for its impact on businesses and contribution to the economy, including to the digital and climate agenda.
Speaking today, Minister O’Donovan said:
“The European Year of Skills, which formally ends next week, recognised that digital and green transitions represent both an opportunity and a challenge for the workforce.
“It is necessary to equip everyone in the workforce with the skills needed to face these transitions. This is why it is so important to have a system of continuous learning that allows people to upskill in a way that suits their needs.
“The importance of continuous learning throughout an individual’s life is essential in a rapidly changing world, paving a way for individual wellbeing, continued economic success and a sustainable future for Ireland.”
“To that end, I want to congratulate the excellent work done by Skillnet, as Ireland’s national workforce development agency, which has seen them ranked as the number one best-practice upskilling initiative worldwide — something to be very proud of.”
Paul Healy,  Skillnet Ireland Chief Executive, said:
“We are pleased with this very positive outcome recognising Skillnet Ireland’s work and our contribution to workforce development policy in Ireland and to helping business to meet the challenges presented by an ever-changing world of work.
“I would like to acknowledge the commitment and ingenuity of our industry partner organisations across our 70 Skillnet Business Networks and national talent initiatives.
“We look forward to continuing working together to make sure that Ireland has a future-ready workforce to navigate the digital and green transitions and enabling companies to build a competitive edge in these rapidly evolving areas.” 
Since 9 May 2023, the European Year of Skills has raised awareness of the importance of skills and highlighted the thousands of initiatives within Member States through its bottom-up approach.
Through the network of national coordinators, collaboration and dialogue between Member States have been strengthened, creating a culture of peer learning between all stakeholders involved.
It has also provided a platform to engage in skills promotion and development, helping to mobilise and embed initiatives at national level.
One of the key tenets of the European Year of Skills has been a partnership approach to the development of skills responses, and the Skillnet Ireland approach epitomises an enterprise led perspective on workforce development.