Sharing the learning

In 2015, Bank of Ireland gave 245 people working for charities and community groups in Ireland a chance to further develop their skills using our training facilities. You would expect a bank to train its employees but, at Bank of Ireland, we’re also helping to train charities and provide training courses to our customers. How did this come about?

Enabling people to do more for good causes
Since 2012, we’ve made LearningZone available to Business in the Community (BITC) Ireland so that charities and community groups can get the training they need to help good causes. LearningZone is an award-winning training facility which provides training face-to-face in the classroom, as well as online and direct to mobile devices. Charities and community groups are highly dedicated to supporting disadvantaged groups but they don’t always take the time or have the money to update their own skills so they can be more effective.

Helping others v helping yourself?
It can sometimes be hard to prioritise their own personal development over a pressing workload. After all, the main reason for choosing to work for a charity is to help others not develop yourself.

Practical skills delivered by professional tutors
That’s where we can help. By providing our training facilities to them, we can help them develop practical skills that they can apply every day in their jobs.

“… the quality of the training, staff and facilities is amazing. As a charity we wouldn’t have the budget to access that standard of training otherwise.”

Jenny Coen, Age Action

People working for a wide range of charitable organisations have benefitted from courses like People Management, Negotiating Skills and Project Management all delivered by trainers in LearningZone. Everyone who attends the courses is passionate about their specific good cause but passion can be even more effective when combined with specialist skills training.

A time to reflect and network
Funding has been tight for charities recently and training is sometimes the first casualty. The LearningZone courses mean that they can continue to upskill their people. These courses also give charities the opportunity to draw breath, take a step back and reflect on what they are doing. They can often gain a lot simply by having the chance to network with people who are facing the same sorts of challenges that they are facing.

Supporting small businesses to develop further
Charities aren’t the only organisations we help by providing training. Small businesses and start-ups are equally passionate about what they’re doing, short of time and money-conscious. Since 2011, we’ve been providing LearningZone training courses to our small business customers.

No formal training
In 2015, we delivered training courses to 193 SME customers in Dublin. Some of the businessmen and women attending the courses may have been managing projects, negotiating with suppliers and leading large numbers of staff but have never had any formal training or had very little. We provide them with a chance to develop their skills so that they can compete better in business. By providing charities and customers with much-needed skills we can help strengthen the communities in which we work and the new businesses that provide jobs there.

Pictured are Kay Lonergan from Dublin Parks Tennis League and Frances Coffey, Beacon of Light Counselling Centre, Neilstown, Tallaght.

Pictured at the top of this page are Susan Collins from The Wheel and Caroline Lydon of St. John of God, Kildare Services, in LearningZone.

[Photography: Naoise Culhane. Words: Neil Cubley]