This year we were delighted to once again be nominated for the Waterford Chamber of Commerce Business Awards. We were shortlisted in the Training & People Development Category which recognises companies that “clearly showcase the effectiveness and impact of training programmes, the promotion of continuous learning and how the training plays a pivotal role in maintaining a supply of the specific and future skills that impact the sustainability or growth of the business.” It really is a thrill to be acknowledged by our peers and to be included in a list of fellow business owners for whom we have so much admiration here in Waterford. We were equally excited to see so many of our clients on the shortlist too, it is rewarding to know we contributed in our own way to their success, as they have ours.
Here at New Links Training Solutions, our ethos is built on the understanding of the powerful impact that continuous learning and development has on a business and its workforce. The world of work is currently experiencing dramatic transition with digital technologies creating a whole new business landscape. We have been working with incredibly successful Irish companies that were founded to serve the needs of industries that have only existed for ten years or so. This is a fascinating and exciting time to be involved in learning and development. When the pace and scale of change is so rapid, it can seem like a huge challenge to maintain a skilled, motivated and productive workforce. Experts are telling us that certain traditional skills and practices are becoming obsolete, while jobs that will be common in 2030 haven’t even been invented yet. We have found through our experience across a range of industries, that high quality, targeted and timely training solutions empowers workforces, not just to “keep up” but to flourish and grow in rapidly changing landscapes. Employees are encouraged to relish the new opportunities gained by exciting innovations in our working environments.
The changing landscape
While digital technologies support new business activities, the skills and proficiencies required to succeed, still go well beyond the technical. Professional Communications, for example, still requires the same level of human connection, clarity and relevance whether it takes place by phone, Skype, email or instant message. Customer Service must be prioritised in every business, whether they sell coffee or offer remote support for web-based gaming. Leadership and management skills are as essential for professionals leading a team in a manufacturing facility, as for managers with a remote team working in three different countries. Our blueprint for success relies on our collaborative approach, the ability to recognise that key business processes have changed, welcoming the challenges and opportunities presented by digital technologies and bringing our expertise to bear in new environments.
We focus on training individuals and teams in new and innovative techniques that allow them to become resilient, flexible and open to change while confident enough to maintain their integrity and ethos. As a business we too have had to respond to changing demands in the industry. In 2019 we were one of only six private training providers in the country to be reengaged with QQI ((Quality and Qualifications Ireland) to offer internationally recognised, certified courses. You can read about the process of being reengaged in Janet’s last blog here.
As a result, 2019 was an exciting year for us while we rolled out our new courses and implemented new strategies. We responded to industry demands by expanding our range of programmes to include Emotional Intelligence Assessment (EQi), Leadership Development, Change Management Assessment, Influencing Skills and Customised Masterclass Workshops. We began offering a flexible, modular style of learning that allows a customisable programme of training for any business, or any size. We hope 2020 brings us many more opportunities and we look forward to meeting our friends, colleagues and peers at the Waterford Chamber Business awards. Good luck to all the shortlisted candidates.