The Dungarvan & West Waterford Chamber is actively collaborating with the Department of Social Protection, local and regional education, apprenticeship & training bodies to develop a viable pathway to recruitment, training, and careers in the region.

D&WW Chamber has joined forces with Waterford and Wexford Education and Training Board (WWETB), Solas, Further Education and Training (FET), South East Regional Skills Forum (SERSF), Back To Education Initiative (BTEI), Youth Reach, Dungarvan College, Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme (VTOS), the Department of Social Protection (DSP) and Waterford Local Enterprise Office (LEO) to address the deficit in staffing in the area. This ongoing challenge has been identified over the past number of years and has been exacerbated by the Covid 19 global pandemic. This working group initiated by the D&WW Chamber is a multi-agency approach to local employment.
Speaking about the initiative, Jenny Beresford CEO of the Dungarvan & West Waterford Chamber commented, “There have been considerable supply and demand issues regarding recruitment, training & retention of staff in a broad number of sectors in the area for some time now and this situation has been exacerbated in recent times by Covid 19.”

Beresford added; ”The purpose of this group is to build a fit for purpose, collaborative, tailored employment initiative which will future proof employment for the area. By investing now in the training and placement of local people, we are ensuring employment for them and their families for future generations. Traditionally education, information and training worked together. Taking a step further, by connecting the business community directly to the vast range of agencies offering training and upskilling; it is anticipated that short term vacancies will be filled, and longer-term strategic measures will be identified to recognise future demands and trends.
Initially this group will set out to engage its clients, before tailoring training programmes, and finally supporting the placements of its participants in employment. By working in tandem with local service providers, we envisage a successful sustainable solution to a collective challenge.”

This joined up thinking programme will be delivered in a phased approach; The WWETB, Solas, FET, South East Regional Skills Forum, Back To Education Initiative (BTEI), Youth Reach, Dungarvan College, VTOS and DSP engage with their clients and inform them of the potential opportunities offered by engaging with this initiative. They will advise clients on the various training opportunities available and through the initiative the D&WW Chamber will connect potential staff to employment opportunities locally. Along the way the working group will tailor courses to meet the deficit of particular skills and signpost clients as to how they can advance their education, training and therefore career opportunities.

The D&WW Chamber will work with members to gather information around the type of skills and roles needed in their sector and work collaboratively with the strategic group to address these gaps, short and long term. D&WW Chamber will also work with members who wish to provide work experience for participants of the programmes and facilitate matching trainees and job seekers to employers.
There are short term and long-term actions being taken to correct the current imbalance – helping people gain ease of access to the pathway to employment, and providing access to relevant further training, education and apprenticeships, supporting employment where vacancies exist.
Dungarvan & West Waterford Chamber members will gain great benefit from this association as they will have access to offer work experience to individuals on relevant training courses and they also build awareness of their business and employment opportunities with future staff members.

This is another illustration of how the Dungarvan & West Waterford Chamber notices challenges and takes action in a strategic way to address short- and long-term issues. This action will serve to fill job vacancies immediately and it will bridge the gap between employers, job seekers and further employment developmental opportunities.