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Brian Collernan

The Importance of Reskilling

Brian Colleran at DPP Skillnet chats to Irish Printer about moving its courses online and why reskilling is more important than ever.

Over the course of 2020 the Design, Print & Packaging Skillnet greatly increased the number of courses it normally runs in a year. For employees of print firms on furlough, it gave them an opportunity to upskill while they waited for the print industry to kick of again. “What came out of the year was the importance of training and keeping your skills current.

The courses we run are dictated from conversations we have with print firms so they’re directly tailored to the industry. We feel that if a print firm is not availing of our services, they’re missing out on an important element that helps keep their company fresh and relevant in an ever-changing marketplace,” said Brian Colleran, Network Manager at DPP Skillnet.

This year was all about reaching as many people as possible within the various industry sectors and getting them involved in the training initiatives on offer, says Brian. Courses included sessions on colour, a Diploma in packaging technology, e-commerce and digital skills. As well as showing strong interest in technical courses, print companies also engaged in management training and development.

In response to Covid-19, DPP Skillnet launched a heavily funded programme titled ‘Competitive Advantage for SMEs’ which provided a print business with a consultant to review and develop their business model, strategy and operational plans. In addition to long-standing programmes like its Masters in Professional Practice, this new course provided owners and management with the opportunities to develop their capabilities to drive their businesses forward. These programmes will, says Brian, continue in 2021.

Courses were, of course, held virtually this year. “There were challenges associated with that; we had to acquire a new platform to allow us to host online training and we also had to work with our training providers to help them transform their courses from being in-person delivered in a classroom to in-person delivered across the web. Judging by the interest from print firms though, the additional work was worth it.” Most Irish print firms are SME’s, says Brian. “Small businesses need people who are multi-talented and multi-skilled and who have the ability to turn their hand to virtually anything. Encouraging staff to attain additional skills is good for everyone.”

Original article posted in Irish Printer