Chamber News

Waterford AirportWaterford Chamber CEO Gerald Hurley has welcomed the announcement of €5 million in funding for the lengthening and widening of Waterford Airport’s runway, saying it is “a great day for Waterford and the wider region”.

“Waterford Chamber has long championed the development of Waterford Airport on behalf of our members and to see it finally come to fruition gives great hope for the future development of Waterford and the wider region.

“It is also encouraging to see the collaboration between public and private enterprises to ensure a timely delivery, which is a first in regional aviation in Ireland. We have worked closely with Conor McCarthy of Leadcom Ltd through our Regional Leaders Programme and his successes speak for themselves. With him at the helm, along with the experience of Noel Frisby of Frisby Construction, and the influence of our leading industries like Dawn Meats, EirGen Pharma, Red Hat and all those we have engaged with to lobby for the Airport, it will certainly contribute significantly to the economic life of the region.

“At a recent meeting with An Taoiseach, we detailed the urgency in securing funding for Waterford Airport, stating Waterford has some of the top companies in the world but accessibility is a major issue for international executives. We also reiterated that there were private investors waiting to move on developing the airport and that the funding from Government is the final piece of the puzzle, to which the Taoiseach responded: “If private investors and County Councils are willing to risk their money, the government will not be found wanting”.

“The work/life balance on offer in Waterford is our strongest selling point and now with accessibility and a strong focus on the tourism sector, the Airport is an integral cog in the wheel of promoting Waterford as a great destination to live, work, invest in and do business.”

The investment will secure the future of Waterford Airport and allow it to compete for international carriers using jet engine aircraft. The runway, when extended from its existing length of 1,433 metres to 2,280 metres, will be able to accommodate large commercial passenger aircraft such as Boeing 737s and Airbus 320s.

The remaining €7 million euro for the project will be met by regional private investment and local authorities in Waterford, Kilkenny and Wexford, who have committed funding of €5 million and €2 million respectively in return for an equity shareholding in Waterford Airport, subject to the approval of the existing shareholders at their upcoming EGM.

RLP WIT May 2019Waterford Chamber’s Regional Leaders Programme received a huge endorsement this week as they are set to partner with Waterford Institute of Technology’s School of Business.

WIT and Waterford Chamber are collaborating to provide further professional development opportunities for participants of the Chamber Regional Leaders Programme. Under this initiative, participants who join the Regional Leaders Programme will have the opportunity to choose a Level 8 management development programme that will be delivered in association with WIT Business School.

Interested applicants who meet the entry requirements can choose either a one semester Certificate in Management Development/Certificate in Project Management or, alternatively, a two semester Higher Diploma in Business in Management. These WIT programmes will provide opportunities for participants to build on their leadership, mentoring and networking skills and open new pathways for further professional development and growth.

Speaking about the collaboration, Waterford Chamber CEO Gerald Hurley said: “As we look towards launching the third year of the Regional Leaders Programme in September, it is fantastic to receive such positive support and endorsement from WIT. This programme is built around collaboration, with our partners Waterford Chamber Skillnet and Bausch + Lomb. They have been instrumental in guiding the programme to the level it is at right now. From year one to two, we enjoyed 40% growth and would expect a further increase in year if early indications are anything to go by.

“Having WIT promote our programme gives it additional strength and recognises the importance of developing our future leaders. Year three will see more mentors join the programme, an exceptional offering of masterclasses and inspiring speaker lunches, so we would encourage anybody looking to develop their network and learn from the best to get in touch with us.”

Prof. Denis Harrington, Head of Graduate Business at WIT said: “We are pleased to be collaborating with the Chamber on this new initiative. Participants of the Regional Leaders Programme will now have a pathway to continue their studies and, subject to meeting the entry requirements for the relevant WIT programme, can look to take either our Level 8 Certificate in Management Development programme or Certificate in Project Management programme part-time over one semester or our Level 8 Higher Diploma in Business in Management programme part-time over the academic year. These short executive WIT programmes aim to prepare candidates to perform effectively at an executive level and contribute to the management of their organisation’s policies with clarity, consistency and capability. Flexibly delivered and using online and blended learning approaches, the programmes will be ideally suited to meet the needs of busy professionals.”

To find out more about the Regional Leaders Programme, please contact Lynda Lawton or Kelly Cummins on 051 872639.

Ahead of local and European elections taking place on 24th May, Waterford Chamber is calling on voters to support candidates who are committed to realising a long-term vision for Waterford.

According to Waterford Chamber CEO Gerald Hurley, there has never been a more important time to vote. “I would urge everybody to exercise their right to vote on 24th May. It is imperative that we select candidates on a local and European level who can drive the Waterford agenda. Local government make decisions on housing, transport and infrastructure, and these decisions shape our daily lives. More significantly, decisions that are made at European level dictate the choices our governments can make across a wide range of issues, from trade to agriculture to regulation. We must not underestimate the opportunity we have before us on the 24th May to elect representatives who will work to build a prosperous, sustainable Waterford.

“It is critical we have the right voices heard locally and in Europe who will fight to improve planning, secure investment for our city and county and support the delivery of the objectives set out in the National Planning Framework.

“As a business community, we will drive the economy of our city but as we outlined recently to An Taoiseach Leo Varadker, we need the infrastructure to do so. We need you to support us, so we in turn can support you. We need strong voices locally, nationally and in Europe to achieve that. Working together, we can drive Waterford forward, create sustainable jobs, spend more money locally and ultimately grow our businesses and economy for the betterment of all.”

Chambers Ireland is the national voice of Ireland’s largest business network. Our network has the broadest geographic presence, reaching towns and cities across the country. As a network, we want to see sustainable communities thrive in locally vibrant economic environments. A fast, national, reliable broadband network is a prerequisite for this.

Speaking following the Cabinet’s decision to appoint a preferred bidder to the National Broadband Plan, Chambers Ireland Chief Executive Ian Talbot said, “Our network of Chambers are aligned in their view that access to reliable high-speed broadband is an economic necessity. Broadband is essential infrastructure for the 21st century and it is already as important to our professional and personal lives as the telephone network was at the end of the 20th century. A community without broadband today is as disconnected from the wider economy as the communities without electricity were in 1945.

If flexible and remote working is to become a lived reality for people in all parts of the country, then it is conditional on broadband being available in their homes. The alternative is economic stagnation, long commutes and regional decline, all of which contribute to poorer quality of life, lower productivity and a bigger carbon footprint.

Government policy itself has effectively made access to broadband mandatory. Many public and business related services now have an online dimension, despite the absence of broadband in so many parts of the country. This alone makes a clear case for increased, sustained public investment in broadband infrastructure. The economic benefits make national broadband access a necessity.

However, in respect of Government action on broadband, for this investment to be worthwhile it will need to be capable of delivering ever faster speeds exceeding 1,000 megabits per second. A network which does not meet that need will not be future-proofed and will not be capable of delivering for communities and local economies in the years to come."

Taoiseach Visit 2019

Following an invitation by Waterford Chamber, An Taoiseach Leo Varadker met with representatives of the business community at a private meeting on his visit to Waterford, where he was presented with five critical issues to the future development of the Waterford City Region, including Health Care, the Technological University, Waterford Airport, required infrastructure and upgrading the road network.

Pictured welcoming An Taoiseach to the Waterford Chamber offices are Michael Walsh, Chief Executive, Waterford Council; Waterford Chamber President, Kathryn Kiely and Gerald Hurley, CEO, Waterford Chamber. Photo: Leo Murphy Photography

Chambers Call for Strong Voter TurnoutAhead of local and European elections taking place on 24 May, Chambers Ireland, as the national voice of Ireland’s largest business network, launches the “Our Time To Vote” campaign. The campaign calls on voters to support candidates who are committed to realising a long-term vision for our communities by improving planning, investing in our cities and regions and supporting how we transition to a resilient low carbon economy.

Speaking this morning, Chambers Ireland Chief Executive Ian Talbot calls on the business community to engage with candidates and turn out to vote on 24 May.

“Although they have the largest franchise, Local and European elections aren’t prioritised in the same way as general elections and turn-out is often low. Today, with the support of our Network of 41 chambers, we are launching the “Our Time To Vote” campaign in an effort to give these elections the attention they merit.

Our members want to see sustainable communities thrive in locally vibrant economic environments, but in order to achieve this, we need to elect representatives who share this vision. Our goal in this campaign is to help educate Chamber members and voters as to the importance of these institutions and encourage them to turn out to vote.

Local government make decisions on housing, transport and infrastructure, and these decisions shape our daily lives. More significantly, decisions that are made at European level dictate the choices our governments can make across a wide range of issues, from trade to agriculture to regulation. We must not underestimate the opportunity we have before us on the 24 May to elect representatives who will work to build a prosperous, sustainable Ireland.

We encourage every eligible person in the country to ensure that they are registered to vote, and then to vote on polling day 24 May itself. Every adult, legally resident in Ireland, can vote in at least one of the upcoming elections. The deadline for voter registration is this Tuesday, 7 May. This is Our Time to Vote.”

workforce ireland south east event 2019Attracting and retaining talent is a growing concern for industry across Ireland. As one of the five key pillars in the Government’s Future Jobs Ireland 2019 report, enhancing skills and developing and attracting talent is recognised as a significant contributor to securing Ireland’s economic success.

The challenge of attracting and retaining talent will be addressed at the upcoming Workforce Ireland 2019 seminar, jointly hosted by Waterford Chamber Skillnet, Carlow Kilkenny Skillnet, County Tipperary Skillnet and Wexford Chamber Skillnet. The seminar takes place on Wednesday, 22 May at Mount Juliet Estate.

The event will be facilitated by one of Ireland’s foremost trainers Michael Cox of MCX Training and Development and will feature a number of keynote speakers throughout the morning, including Michael’s presentation on ‘Theory into Action’.

At Workforce Ireland 2019, Paul Healy, Chief Executive of Skillnet Ireland will discuss how we can ‘Address Current and Future Skills Shortages’. Speaking on the importance of having a strong workforce, Healy said At Workforce Ireland 2019, Paul Healy, Chief Executive of Skillnet Ireland will discuss how we can ‘Address Current and Future Skills Shortages’. Speaking on the importance of having a strong workforce, Healy said:

"Fostering a skilled and educated workforce is critical for strengthening Ireland’s competitiveness and sustaining our future success. The world of work is transforming, and the pace of technological development is redefining the future of economies globally. This presents challenges but also new possibilities - many job roles will be redefined, and emerging job roles will require new and different skillsets. Businesses need to consider new ways of attracting and retaining talent by becoming flexible, innovative and adaptable. I am delighted that a number of Skillnet Networks have joined together to bring this expert event to businesses in the South East.” 

David Cooney, Associate Director with Morgan McKinley, will speak on ‘The South-East as part of Ireland Inc – Attracting Talent to our Business Unit’ Other topics throughout the half day seminar include Staff Retention with Brian Cleary of Acorn Regulatory; Recruitment with Dr Karen O’Connor, Datapac; Learning & Development with Elaine Hayes, Zurich; Spending your Training Budget with Ria White, Eirgen and Creating a Great Workplace with Lisa Murphy, Scurri.

Speaking about the event, Network Manager of Waterford Chamber Skillnet Sara Mullally said “Future-proofing, succession planning and retention are all key concerns for industry right now. As we approach full employment, attracting and retaining talent must be given due consideration at all times and our seminar will offer expert opinions, advice and shared experiences, so we can ensure our workforce is reaching its full potential. We are delighted to have such a high calibre of speakers lined up and we would encourage all HR Executives, senior managers and business owners to take the half day away from the office to engage, learn and of course offer their own advice.”

To book your place at Workforce Ireland 2019 for €50, please contact your local Skillnet Network; Waterford Chamber Skillnet on 051 311139, Wexford Chamber Skillnet on 053 9122226; County Tipperary Skillnet on 052 6191105 and Carlow Kilkenny Skillnet on 059 9132152.

To find your local Skillnet Learning Network in the South East region, visit www.skillnetireland.ie/region/south-east/

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“We found the Toys 4.0 Engineers exhibition to be an excellent platform for us to showcase our business. The attendees were exactly the people we hoped to meet and we are delighted to have made new contacts as a result. We also unexpectedly had some success in making supplier connections with other exhibitors. The venue was ideal with adequate sound and space and the presentations were informative. Overall the event was professionally run and we had an excellent experience. We will definitely be exhibiting again next year. I cannot recommend the event highly enough.”

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