Marine and leisure businesses based on the Shannon from the Shannon region came together on Friday 7th March to celebrate the success of their funding application to set up a dedicated support programme for the sector. The new programme is entitled ‘Jump on Board’. Shannon Marine & Leisure Skillnet is the new network training initiative for the region and gives companies the opportunity to avail of subsidised upskill programmes for managers and employees in industry specific topics. The project will see an investment of over €300,000 in the region over the next two years. In the fitting and majestic setting of Glasson Golf and Country Club, outside Athlone, Mary O’ Rourke, TD launched the initiative and said, ‘The river Shannon has tremendous potential to deliver a leisure experience second to none. Forthcoming tax incentives will drive new product development in the region, but capital investment is not enough. We must invest in the human capital that will power this sector and region. Businesses need to be primed to maximise the return from their considerable investments. We need to be top of our game and this project will ensure the marine and leisure sectors deliver exceptional service and experiences to tourists through this initiative. Marina Owner and Steering Group chairperson Paddy Gilboy concurred ‘We are truly delighted to have successfully secured funding for this exciting first of its kind training programme for the Marine and Leisure Sectors’ stated Paddy. ‘I am delighted to see so many colleagues here today and I would actively encourage all companies to ‘Jump on Board’ and take advantage of this robust and practically focused training and development programme which will be new to the region and our sector. Training topics include emergency care training for boating, international competency certificate in boat handling, customer care skills, sales and marketing skills, English for tourism, pool plant operations, on-line hotel reservations, introductory food hygiene and Train the Trainer. Lift that phone and talk to our new Network Manager Alan Shanley and see how the project can make your business a better business. Companies wishing to ‘Jump on Board’ should call Alan on insert number for an individual consultation on how the project can deliver benefits to their business and their employees.