Welcome to Skills Matter, our quarterly newsletter focused on upskilling and training opportunities for the nonprofit community. If you are passionate about training and staff development, or curious about how upskilling your staff or volunteers could help you achieve your mission, then this newsletter is for you!
Each quarter we will share upcoming training opportunities, feature training providers from across the country, and spotlight new and innovative solutions in the field of skills development.
Stories covered in this issue:
- National Skills Strategy – Have Your Say!
- Transformative Leadership
- Springboard+ Courses
- SOLAS – Leadership and Management programme
- Join a Roundtable with Lift Ireland
- E-Learning with NYCI
- Improve your Training Skills with Quality Matters
- The Wheel’s Training Calendar
- The Right Course.
National Skills Strategy – Have Your Say!
The Wheel are running a special online event, Building Skills for a Stronger Sector on 12 October. This is an invaluable opportunity for nonprofit organisations employing staff in our sector to meet with the OECD team who are currently reviewing Ireland’s National Skills Strategy 2025.
This national policy area is a key priority for The Wheel and our members. To ensure that those who work in the nonprofit sector have the opportunities they need for upskilling and professional development, we need to ensure that policy makers hear directly from representatives of the sector.
At this 2-hour online event on 12 October you will:
- Hear from The Wheel about the issues affecting organisations that employ staff in the sector, in relation to upskilling and development.
- Learn about current government priorities in this area from the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science – and how it affects your organisation.
- Hear from the OECD team about the National Skills Strategy Review, the emerging recommendations, and how you can influence the process through their current consultation and survey.
- Meet a panel of experts and employers from the sector who will address how the changing national skills agenda can support innovation and quality service delivery in our sector.
- Have an opportunity to put your questions to the OECD team and panelists.
Don’t miss this opportunity to influence a key priority policy for our sector and wider society.
Transformative Leadership is a Level 8 accredited leadership programme designed especially for people working in community and voluntary organisations, charities and social enterprises. Aimed at those in senior management, or those who aspire to work in leadership roles in nonprofit organisations, it is designed to help leaders deal with the many complex realities of navigating and leading change in the nonprofit sector. The Wheel in partnership with Community Action Network and NUI Maynooth have been offering this programme since 2015 and are delighted to invite applicants for the 2022 – 2023 programme.
The programme contains four core modules:
- Personal leadership model building focuses on enhancing effective leadership through a combination of personal and shared reflection, as well as practical skills development, theoretical inputs and group practice.
- Understanding and leading change examines the complexities of advocating and leading change, including internal communications, fostering leadership in others and working with frameworks for change to develop a personal vision for leadership.
- Systems change provides a model for understanding organisational culture and how it relates to leadership, working creatively with conflict and diversity, exploring complexity theory and its relevance to leading systemic change.
- Building strategic alliances is about skills development in collaborative working, policy and power mapping, as well as development of a personal leadership plan and networking for the future.
Designed to be both practical and inspirational in nature, this programme equips leaders and emerging leaders with the tools to deepen their self-awareness, develop their personal leadership style and gain an applied understanding of innovative strategies for managing change in complex environments.
This certificate programme is accredited through the National University of Ireland Maynooth. Registration is now open for the Autumn 2022 intake of the programme.
Springboard+ is a government initiative aimed at upskilling workers and is an excellent resource for those who are employed or unemployed. They offer free and subsidised courses at certificate, degree and masters level, many of which can benefit nonprofit workers.
These courses lead to qualifications where there are employment opportunities in the economy. There are countless options across many disciplines. Some of the courses available are in the areas of:
- Marketing & Communications
- Information and Communications Technology (ICT)
- Download the full course list here.
If you are currently working and you apply for an NFQ (National Framework of Qualifications) level 6 course, it will be totally free. Your fees will be funded.
If your course is Level 7, 8 or 9 then you or your employer will need to pay 10% of the course fee. More information on fees and on NFQ can be found on the FAQ page on the website here. Springboard+ also have a helpline that you can call for free on 1800 303523.
SOLAS – Leading Through Change
Working with the network of 16 ETBs around the country, SOLAS is running a leadership and management programme called ‘Leading through Change’. The Level 6 Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) accredited programme aims to upskill supervisory staff in key areas including:
- Motivating staff
- Managing change
- Effective decision making
- Writing for business
- Problem solving
- Managing remote workers.
The programme is for employees who are currently performing a team leader or frontline management role, or are new to a supervisory role. The aim is to equip these employees with enhanced skills to lead and manage their teams effectively.
How is the programme delivered?
- By Education and Training Boards (ETBs) in your region
- online with tutor support, or when feasible, a blend of online and in-person training
- flexible scheduling.
The course fee is highly subsidised. Each ETB calculates the course fee based on a number of factors. Contact your local ETB to learn more and download the programme brochure.
The programme was developed by SOLAS and the ETBs working in collaboration with companies to address skill needs in the regions. Key partners were IDA Ireland, Enterprise Ireland and the Regional Skills Fora.
Join a Roundtable with LIFT Ireland
LIFT Ireland is a social enterprise initiative aimed at increasing the level of positive leadership in Ireland. Since LIFT’s creation in 2018, over 100 organisations and 35,000 people nationwide have adopted their 5-step 8-week reflective roundtable process because it is easy to implement and it works.
Since the first leadership roundtables started in 2018, LIFT have measured the impact of the programme.
- 97% of adults improved their understanding of good leadership
- 86% of adults experienced real positive change.
Joining a LIFT Roundtable
- Once a week you join a 45-minute session where you work with a group and focus on a particular quality that is central to effective leadership, some examples are ‘respect’ or ‘accountability’
- You cover material on this leadership quality
- You have the opportunity to speak and listen in a non-judgemental environment
- Setting specific goals to develop this quality
- These sessions are online, hybrid or face to face.
Benefits of Roundtables
- Professional and personal leadership improvement
- Improved capacity for individuals to achieve personal potential
- Embeds values through small consistent steps.
See what LIFT can do for you – join a Roundtable today!
E-Learning with NYCI
NYCI has launched a new e-learning Hub, a free platform designed to meet the emerging needs of youth workers. Over 3000 people have already completed one of the programmes. There are training courses on a variety of topics including:
- Online safety
- Inclusion and social justice
- Transformative practice.
There are also tools to track and develop young people’s life skills and measure the impact of non-formal education and youth work. It is completely free for youth workers, volunteers and those working with young people. These are the available programmes:
- Introduction to Transformative and Compassionate Practice in Youth Work introduces youth workers and volunteers to a way of working with young people who cause harm to those with marginalised identities.
- Inclusive Youth Work – Social Justice as a Core Principle introduces youth workers and volunteers to key aspects of social justice and explains how it is a core principle of inclusive youth work.
- Skills Summary e-learning Course helps you support young people to recognise, track and develop their life skills and builds their capacity to capture the impact of non-formal education and youth work.
- Online Safety & Awareness in Youth Work introduces youth workers and volunteers to key topics in online safety, and addresses the challenges that young people may face online.
Visit the website to learn more and enroll.
Improve your skills as a trainer with Quality Matters
Training Delivery and Evaluation Course (QQI Level 6)
Quality Matters are a not-for-profit working with organisations across Ireland to improve social service provision. They provide certified training on innovative practices and core skills for the nonprofit sector.
The Training Delivery and Evaluation programme is delivered online. It teaches you the ways people learn and how, as trainers, you can provide learner experiences that are effective. The course is underpinned by research in behavioral psychology and neuroscience.
Who is this course for?
Those involved in training development or delivery, consultants and those in HR and training roles, who wish to receive an approved National Qualification.
Aim of the course:
This highly interactive training will equip participants with the knowledge, skills, and competence to deliver, assess and evaluate training and development interventions.
Objectives of the Course:
You will learn:
- About the factors that influence the delivery of training
- To assess your own strengths and weaknesses as a trainer and evaluator
- The principles behind planning, delivery and evaluation of training programmes
- Practical experience of designing and delivering a training module.
Next course date:
The training will be run over 6 half-day sessions from 9.30am – 1pm, running from Thursday, 13 October to Thursday, 1 December or 8 December (depending on your group).
Training with The Wheel
The video above gives you an idea of the training The Wheel provided from January-June of this year. We have an equally exciting offering of workshops, webinars and training events coming up this season. Our events continue to be delivered online, and provide upskilling opportunities in a range of areas including communications & marketing, data protection, governance, fundraising and more. Here are some upcoming highlights:
- Positive Leadership: Minding Self, Serving Others (Webinar), 4 Oct 2022 – 10:00am to 11:00am, register here
- Going Deeper with Canva (Webinar), 13 Oct 2022 – 10:00am to 11:00am, register here
- Whistleblowing and Protected Disclosures – Workshop for Charities, 20 Oct 2022 – 9:30am to 1:00pm, register here.
See the full training calendar here.
The Right Course
Visit The Right Course to find courses and training opportunities available to you or your employees. You’ll also find career guidance, information on grants and other financial supports. Some of their supports include:
- Become an apprentice
- Free online courses for everyone
- Learn new skills or retrain
- Help your staff develop new skills
- Social protection and other supports
- Career guidance and information.
Included is eCollege, a free government funded online training facility which provides a range of online learning courses. If you want to learn at your own pace, eCollege is meant for you. See here.
eCollege delivers online training courses in:
- Project management
- Information technology
- Graphic design
- Web design
- Software development
- Basic computer skills.