‘Foot in The Door’ an Irish co-operative industry initiative targeting potential new employees for the agrifood sector was launched today by ICOS Skillnets and the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and the Marine, Simon Coveney.

ICOS (through the ICOS Skillnet) and its co-operative member organisations are arranging free Foot in The Door training and advisory events for currently unemployed job seekers to highlight new job opportunities and skills needs in the agrifood industry.

Foot in The Door events will tour nationwide (with agrifood co-ops from each region participating). The first event is in Mallow on 29th May with a jobs advice clinic being provided by ICOS and co-ops including Dairygold Co-operative Society, Kerry Group, Cork Co-Operative Marts, and North Cork Co-operative Creameries.

Mallow Event – Hibernian Hotel, Thursday 29th May 2014 from 9.00 am – 1.00 pm. Advance registration is essential. To register to attend, candidates should please contact Breeda Flood or Billy Goodburn on 01 613 1348 or on email: [email protected]

Minister Coveney said, ““This is a well thought out initiative to highlight the new and substantial opportunities for job seekers in a sector of the economy with strong growth and employment potential. 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. This is a great opportunity for economic benefits most particularly for job seekers in rural areas which are the heartland of Irish agrifood production.”

Billy Goodburn, ICOS Skillnets Manager said, “The future growth and expansion of the Irish agrifood industry requires additional human resources. 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 job seekers in receipt of Job Seekers Allowance, Job Seekers 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.”

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 €14 billion, with some 150,000 individual members, employing 12,000 people in Ireland, and a further 24,000 people overseas.

The agri-food sector in Ireland contributes a value of €24 billion 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.

ICOS Skillnet will be running events nationally, in conjunction with employers from the Co-Operative Sector, aimed at helping unemployed persons to enhance their chances of gaining employment in the co-Op sector in Ireland.

Types of introductory training sessions being covered will include but are not limited to:

  • Retail Customer Service – You are the Difference
  • Interview Preparation Skills
  • Career Development
  • Basic Security Awareness & Loss Prevention
  • Communications
  • Retail Skills & Merchandising
  • Understanding Health & Safety & Basic Fire Awareness
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Presentation Skills
  • Personal Effectiveness
  • Top 10 things you need to know about Microsoft Office Systems
The Events comprise
• 2 x introductory training sessions, that will enhance your skills base
• An opportunity to meet with prospective employers
• An opportunity to access FREE Training Courses, relevant to the skills requirements by employers, not only in the co-op sector but across all industries.
• An opportunity to network and make new contacts.
• Events will run from 09.00 – 13.00 at various locations across the country, to include, Mallow, Clonakilty, Sligo, Dublin, Tipperary and Galway.

For Eligibility Criteria, please visit: http://www.icos.ie/skillnet/information-for-the-unemployed/

Advance registration is essential. To register to attend, candidates should please contact Breeda Flood or Billy Goodburn on 01 613 1348 or on email: [email protected]

The ICOS Skillnet is funded by member companies and the Training Networks Programme, an initiative of Skillnets Ltd. funded from the National Training Fund through the Department of Education & Skills.