Fáilte Ireland has launched an open call for expressions of interest for its Tourism Learning Network Programme as part of the EU Just Transition Fund Regenerative Tourism & Placemaking Scheme for Ireland’s Midlands 2023-2026.
The Tourism Learning Network Programme is designed to build tourism business’ capabilities to help grow and future proof their sustainable development.
It provides an opportunity for participants to benefit from a fully-funded programme of tailored professional development supports that enhances their tourism skillsets and supports the transition from employment in the peat or electricity production to a career in the tourism industry.
The programme is open to existing and new tourism businesses, public sector partners and individuals located within the EU Just Transition territory.
'Source Of Employment'
“Valued at the equivalent of up to €10,000 per business/applicant, this best-in-class programme offers tailored professional development to suit commercial, not for profit, community and charity tourism enterprises in the territory," said Paul Hayden, head of Programme Just Transition at Fáilte Ireland.
"Fáilte Ireland is committed to and focused on the sustainable development of tourism across Ireland which is an important economic driver and source of employment."
Tailored Learning Pathway
The Tourism Learning Network Programme invites eligible tourism businesses that are just starting up, expanding a current tourism business, managing or working in a not-for-profit enterprise, charity, community or social tourism enterprise, public agency partners involved in recreation and public realm for tourists, and previous employees of ESB Networks or Bord na Móna, involved in electricity production or peat harvesting, planning a new career in tourism.
Successful applicants will be guided through the programme by experts from Fáilte Ireland’s Enterprise Development team to select a tailored learning pathway suited to their individual needs across the five key learning pillars: Understanding Tourism, Business Planning for Growth, Digital Technology, Accessible Tourism For All, and Sustainable Tourism Practices.
Upon programme completion, participants will have the opportunity to be awarded certification and connected to further Fáilte Ireland Business Supports.
Fáilte Ireland developed the EU Just Transition Learning Network Programme to help maximise the benefit of the EU Just Transition scheme for tourism businesses, employees, visitors, and the wider region.
It follows the launch of Fáilte Ireland’s first scheme in August 2023, Investment Grant-Aid Scheme for Private & Community SMEs, which is still open for applications across a number of categories.
'Local Job Opportunities'
“It is great to be launching this Tourism Learning Network Programme which will build professional business capacities for tourism in the wider Midland area," said Clare Bannon, director of the Eastern and Midland Regional Assembly.
"This programme is a key part of the overall Regenerative Tourism and Placemaking Scheme, supported by the EU Just Transition Fund, which is bringing new local job opportunities and will enhance skills for diversification in the visitor economy."
Expressions of Interest for the Tourism Learning Network Programme will be accepted until Thursday, 22 February 2024.
Applications will be assessed by Fáilte Ireland, who will provide guidance on the programme and offer direct support.