Irish Hotels Federation Skillnet launched to deliver new upskilling for Irish hotels and guesthouses


The national business network will address skills challenges in the sector, offering subsidised development and upskilling and training courses tailored to the needs of the sector, writes Shauna McCrudden

Launch of the Irish Hotels Federation Skillnet. Pictured (L-R) Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris, Elaina Fitzgerald Kane, President of the Irish Hotels Federation, Chief Executive of Skillnet Ireland, Paul Healy, and Irish Hotels Federation Skillnet Network and Learning Manager Dervla O’Neill. Photo credit: Conor Healy / Picture It Photography

The Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) and Skillnet Ireland, have launched a new Irish Hotels Federation Skillnet to address business and skills challenges in the industry. Skillnet Ireland is the national agency responsible for the competitiveness, productivity, and innovation of Irish businesses through enterprise-led workforce development.

Offering bespoke training courses and workshops specifically tailored to the unique needs of the hotel and guesthouse sector, this Skillnet Business Network aims to deliver best practice learning and development opportunities. This is done through high-quality, subsidised training and events, designed to meet the needs of Irish hotels and guesthouses and their teams, ensuring the delivery of world-class hospitality experiences.

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Together with hospitality companies, programmes are co-funded by Skillnet Ireland, a business support agency of the Government of Ireland.

Speaking at the launch of the programme, Elaina Fitzgerald Kane, President of the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF), the national organisation of the hotel and guesthouse industry in Ireland, said training courses will be a crucial support to the tourism and hospitality sector in the coming months, “As hotels and guesthouses continue to welcome back guests, it is an opportune time to offer bespoke training and upskilling support to their teams. The programmes offered through the IHF Skillnet support the continued development of the wide variety of careers available throughout our industry, from culinary arts to leadership and management.

“For hotels and guesthouses, retaining skilled, trained teams are essential to the quality and professionalism of their offering. Irish hotels have always had a well-earned reputation globally for their high service standards, and the training offered by the IHF Skillnet will ensure that reputation is maintained in what continues to be a highly competitive market.”

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The suite of supports offered by the Irish Hotels Federation Skillnet is available to hotels and guesthouses and will encourage productivity, growth, and collaboration within the sector. Training programmes available include Leadership and Training Skills for the Hotel Industry, craft training courses on bar service skills, food service skills and housekeeping skills and a focus on customer care through a special ‘Welcoming Back the Guest’ programme.

There is also a wide range of accredited training programmes in development for autumn 2021, including HR management, leadership and development for new managers, digital marketing, train the trainer, facilities and IT skills.

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD said, “Ireland rightfully enjoys an international reputation for the excellence of our tourism and hospitality sector. Although it has been a difficult 15 months for the industry, everyone involved has shown great resilience and innovation, and it’s time now to focus on building up skills to protect staff and businesses as we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic.  

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“I know the Irish Hotels Federation Skillnet will be a huge asset to those working in hotels and guesthouses throughout Ireland. You can always learn something that will help your business or your career grow, and I would really encourage people working in the sector to take the training and development opportunities offered.” 

The Irish Hotels Federation Skillnet is promoted by the Irish Hotels Federation and membership of the network is open to hotels and guesthouses in the Republic of Ireland. 

More information is available at

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