Chamber Regional Leaders Programme Draws to a Close

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Waterford Chamber’s inaugural Regional Leaders Programme drew to a close at Faithlegg on Thursday last as the mentors and participants came together one last time for a networking lunch.Responding to the need to develop a pipeline of future leaders in the South East region, Waterford Chamber, with the support of Bausch + Lomb and Waterford Chamber Skillnet, designed the Regional Leaders Programme to develop business leaders for the future through mentorship and skills sharing.
The programme was aimed at professionals who want to develop their leadership skills or for companies who would like to increase the capacity of their internal talent pool to ensure the next generation of their company is in safe hands.

And as the first programme drew to a close, Waterford Chamber President Kathryn Kiely also announced details of the second programme, which is due to begin in September, and will see participants from year one still very much involved in the programme.
“In a recent EY survey of global business leaders developing ‘the next generation’ of leaders in organisations has been identified as one of the top ten challenges facing companies,” she said. “Having had mentors myself over the years and having mentored others I know how important a programme like this is both for the development and benefit of the individual but also the organisation. At different stages in our careers we all need someone to turn to for advice and to share ideas. It’s that shared learning experience which helps us all to grow and develop within our chosen careers.

“I am delighted to announce we have created an exclusive alumni so you can continue your association with the programme. As members of the alumni, you are most welcome to attend our speaker lunches from now on, as our guests and continue to take part in one of the most important parts of the programme – networking. We are delighted to have two of our three speakers already confirmed for next year – Dr. Norah Patten in November, who will be the first Irish astronaut in space, and a man some of you met and were truly inspired by on this programme, Conor McCarthy, who will return to us in March of next year. We are also delighted to Waterford Institute of Technology on board as education partner for next year, along with Waterford Chamber Skillnet, Bausch + Lomb.”

Partners Bausch + Lomb played a pivotal role in developing the programme and speaking at the lunch, Site Lead Mark Hennessy said: “With over 200 mentoring sessions, four speaker lunch and nearly 80 people engaged in the programme, this has been a tremendous success. Developing leaders is to the core of what we do at Bausch + Lomb – the retention of staff is critical in today’s workforce and people must be afforded the opportunity to develop their careers and identify the chance to succeed and progress. The Regional Leaders Programme is a hugely important vehicle for that and one we are proud to be associated with.”
Key note speaker Paul Healy, Chief Executive of Skillnet Ireland, spoke of leadership and management development in a national context, while also outlining the opportunities Skillnets present for employers in terms of training.

“Engaging in management development is vital for all business owners and managers, but particularly for small firms. An ever widening productivity gap between indigenous SMEs and the multinationals based here has been observed. A low uptake of management development and life long learning is a factor in this. Skillnet Ireland works with over 15,000 firms across Ireland providing subsided and highly relevant training. I would strongly encourage businesses in the South East to engage with your local Skillnet so we can help you with your training needs.”
The second Regional Leaders Programme will get underway in September, offering one to one mentoring sessions, group mentoring masterclasses and inspiring speaker lunches.

For more information please contact Lynda Lawton on 051-311130

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