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With remote working at an all-time high, Cork County Council has launched a new initiative to identify existing employment skills and talent across Cork County and use this data to deliver further resources and create greater economic opportunities.
Under the Council’s Project ACT Activating County Towns, 23 newly formed Town Teams are working on individual plans for 23 County Cork towns to stimulate and support economic growth. A key part of this is the establishment of micro communities which will facilitate a ‘support local’ ethos of living and working within these towns. Cork County Council is also in the process of exploring the location of a number of digital hubs across the county to enable remote working with these towns with data collected from this initiative informing the location of these hubs.
Working with Cork County Council, Irish Startup Company Abodoo provide a dedicated remote working platform for individuals and businesses. Their mapping technology will provide an ongoing live anonymised data analysis of the skills existing in Cork County, for those currently residing, the diaspora wishing to return, individuals wishing to relocate and businesses wishing to establish.
The platform will also act as a means of trying to establish the extent of those remotely working presently, as a means of assisting in establishing the longer term opportunities that this might present for towns and communities across Cork County
Members of the public are being asked to assist in the creation of the talent and remote working map by registering their skills set at www.abodoo.com/corkcounty. Information provided in the project will not include any personally identifiable material and will capture key data points for remote and office working.
Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD commenting on Cork County Council’s initiative said: “The rise of remote working is a silver lining of this crisis. In the past, I always got the impression that people liked the idea but there was still a lot of skepticism about how it would work in practice. However, in the space of a few weeks, it has gone from being a foreign concept for businesses and workers to an everyday working reality. I think that as we learn to adapt and operate alongside COVID-19, the message will be that if you can continue to do your job working remotely, keep doing it. As we emerge from the crisis, this does not necessarily mean working from home 100% of the time. It’s about finding the right balance for everyone involved, between home-working, the use of local digital hubs and time in the office as needed. Expanding our network of digital hubs has been a key priority for this Government. We now have a golden opportunity to embed remote working into our economy for good, which is why I continue to make the case for investment in this area into the future.”
Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Ian Doyle noted how the last number of weeks have seen a complete shift in working arrangements: “The Covid 19 pandemic has changed our lives in every way, the way we live and the way we work. If we can identify where individuals want to work, we can ensure the supports they need exist in order to fulfill current requirements but also to future proof our way of working. Project ACT is a key plan for our future success and I would encourage those working across Cork County to participate in the initiative so that we can get a full picture of the skills and talent of our most vital resource, our people.”
Speaking at the launch, artist Will Sliney, who has worked on many Marvel Comics projects from his home in Ballycotton said: “As someone who already worked from home, I have known of the advantages for some time. That said, I have never felt more connected to my community as I have in recent weeks, as many others have realised the benefits for the first time. Our location is no longer a barrier to creativity. We have all found ways to build on what we have on our doorstep, and to use that for the wider good. I am very happy to support this initiative by Cork County Council and look forward to everyone who is working from home using that opportunity to achieve their full potential.”
Chief Executive of Cork County Council Tim Lucey went on to say: “Now is a time for us to act and for a project like this to come on stream. Smart Working, or flexible working, is fast becoming a new normal. The growing importance of digital hubs as a means of spurring economic growth is a testament to this fact. We’re asking the public to help us map the broad spectrum of skills that exist in Cork County, and the extent of remote working, and ensure Cork employers have access to the right people and skills for their job roles when the economy re-opens fully, for International businesses to consider locating here either physically or through remote-based opportunities and create significant employment prospects for those living in our 23 ACT towns.”
According to Abodoo CEO Vanessa Tierney: “This project will give Cork County amazing insight to the skills that exist in the region across all industries and the demand for Smart Working. Ultimately having the latest data intelligence on wealth of skills will put the county in a strong position when attracting employers both in Ireland and internationally as the world embraces a new way of working.”
Abodoo captures over 50,000 skills and helps organisations identify their current and future talent, helping them better identify the talent they wish to attract and to be more informed about where they can start hiring more people if they wish to do so. The initial stages of the project will include an education and awareness campaign in digital and social media.
The project has now been launched and Cork County residents are invited to register their skills at www.abodoo.com/corkcounty and follow the campaign on Social Media using the hashtag #corkproud.
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