‘Foot in the Door’ training clinics for agrifood jobseekers to begin

Agrifood sector jobseekers will gather in Mallow next Thursday for the first in a series of free nationwide ‘Foot in the Door’ training and advisory clinics.

Hosted by ICOS, next Thursday’s 9am to 1pm clinic in Hibernian Hotel, Mallow, Co Cork, will give candidates two training sessions, enhancing their skills base.

Candidates will also get to meet representatives of Dairygold Co-Op, Kerry Co-Op, Cork Co-Operative Marts, and North Cork Co-op Creameries.

ICOS and its member co-ops have not set a jobs target for the initiative.

However, a training programme launched last year by Ibec member Food and Drink Industry Ireland included a prediction that the agrifood sector could create 30,000 jobs by 2020.

“The future growth and expansion of the Irish agrifood industry requires additional human resources,” said Billy Goodburn, ICOS Skillnets manager.

“In particular the dairy sector has considerable potential given the industry expansion agenda that exists around the removal of milk quotas next year.

“Our initiatives ties in with growth plans for the agrifood industry and the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs. The events are free of charge to jobseekers in receipt of jobseekers’ allowance, jobseekers’ benefits and other kinds of allowances, provided that they are registered with their local DSP offices and are not on a CE Scheme, or other Jobs-bridge type of initiative.”

Next Thursday’s event will offer free introductory training on retail customer service, retail skills, merchandising, interview skills, communications, health and safety, emotional intelligence and Microsoft Office Systems.

Sessions are also scheduled for Clonakilty, Sligo, Dublin, Tipperary and Galway. Other locations will follow.

ICOS — the Irish Co-operative Organisation Society represents co-operatives and organisations in Ireland — including the Irish dairy processing co-operatives and livestock marts whose associated businesses have a combined turnover in the region of €14bn, with some 150,000 individual members, employing 12,000 people in Ireland, and a further 24,000 people overseas.

The agrifood sector in Ireland contributes a value of €24bn to the national economy, generates almost 10% of Ireland’s exports and provides 7.7% of national employment. When employment in inputs, processing and marketing is included, the agrifood sector accounts for almost 10% of employment.

Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney said: “The Irish agrifood industry has exciting expansion plans to meet the growing global demand for food of high quality. The industry will need motivated people with a range of skills and qualities.”

* For eligibility criteria, visit: www.icos.ie/skillnet, and click on ‘information for the unemployed’. Advance registration is essential; candidates should contact Breeda Flood or Billy Goodburn on 01 613 1348; or on email: billy.goodburn@icos.ie

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