Accenture (NYSE: ACN) and An Cosán Virtual Community College (VCC) are collaborating to roll out a virtual Skills to Succeed Academy — a free, interactive online training programme to give people throughout Ireland the skills and confidence to choose the right career and better position themselves to get a job or build a business.

Developed by Accenture, the Academy is part of Skills to Succeed, Accenture’s corporate citizenship initiative to advance employment and entrepreneurship opportunities for individuals around the globe. Supporting its vision to improve the way the world works and lives, Accenture is committing €170 million (US$200 million) over the next three years to help equip people around the world with job skills for the digital age, including by providing free access to the Skills to Succeed Academy in Ireland.

As Ireland’s leading provider of virtual learning pathways, An Cosán VCC is using its knowledge of Ireland’s community and voluntary sector to embed the Skills to Succeed Academy in local communities around Ireland. Throughout the summer, the Academy will be rolled out to community organisations and local employment services in Clare, Dublin, Galway, Kerry, Limerick, Mayo, Meath, Sligo and Tipperary.

“I am absolutely delighted that a number of local employment support organisations around Ireland are rolling out the Skills to Succeed Academy via our delivery partner, An Cosán VCC,” said Alastair Blair, Accenture’s country managing director for Ireland. “Digital technologies are fundamentally changing the way we work and the skills required to enter and succeed in the workplace. By bringing together the best of technology and training from across Accenture and our partners, we have built an online system to help people get a job and sustain long-term employment.”

Liz Waters, CEO of An Cosán Virtual Community College, said, “The Skills to Succeed Academy is an innovative digital learning solution that gives jobseekers an opportunity to ‘learn by doing’ and try out real-world scenarios for themselves while learning key employability skills as well as having on-going support in the local community along the way. The Academy is like a ‘flight simulator’ for the world of work that will help improve skills and confidence. The training modules are flexible and bite-sized, which means learners can choose specific modules to focus on, or complete a combination of modules that cover specific skills. Users can also return to the Academy to revisit learning or re-do modules as and when they wish. It’s an ongoing, free resource that will always be there whenever jobseekers need it and wherever they are in their job journeys”.

The online Academy uses virtual coaches, gamification and simulations to help users navigate their career paths while equipping them with skills they need to find long-term employment. For example, users can tailor their CVs to job opportunities, hone interview techniques and learn what is required to stay employed, from setting goals to keeping motivated in work. The Academy is based on the Irish education system and includes support resources relevant to the local job market.

A broad range of employment support bodies — including the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection — have come together as delivery partners to roll out the Skills to Succeed Academy across Ireland, with a goal of training 10,000 young people around the country over the next few years. To date, more than 3,000 people have completed training on the Skills to Succeed Academy, with three in four reporting improved self-confidence and competence in interview skills and job applications.

Registration for the Skills to Succeed Academy is free and can be applied for through local community-based employment support organisations that are working with An Cosán VCC as Academy advisors. Log on to www.ancosanvcc.com/s2sacademy/ for more information or follow #S2SAcademy on Twitter.


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