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Skillnet Ireland launches initiative to help enterprises bounce back safely

ReBound Initiative to support business owners implement Return to Work Safely protocol

Skillnet Ireland has today launched a new initiative aimed at helping Irish SME owners and managers across all sectors prepare and implement a return to work safely plan for the reopening of their business. The initiative known as ‘ReBound – Back to Business. Safely’ is being offered in conjunction with industry and Government partners including Ibec, Chambers Ireland, the National Standards Authority of Ireland and the Small Firms Association.

Every workplace will need to adjust as they re-open and are faced with introducing practical changes necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The ReBound initiative will upskill business owners and managers to ensure they are well equipped to take on this challenge.

Participating companies will receive a combination of webinar training on implementing the Government’s Return to Work Safely Protocol and mentoring to help them create and implement a bespoke Return to Work Safely Plan. The scheme is available to 3,000 Irish SMEs and Irish enterprises are encouraged to register for the initiative through the Skillnet Ireland ReBound website available at


Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD, said: “The Return to Work Safely Protocol is a critical component of the Government’s Roadmap which very clearly sets out the steps that businesses and workers need to take to ensure that they can return to work safely. The Skillnet Ireland ReBound initiative adds to the range of measures put in place by Government, to support companies in implementing the Protocol within their business and adapting to this new and challenging environment. ReBound exemplifies the collaboration between Government and industry that is central to the success of the reopening of the economy and safe return to work.” 

Launching ReBound, Paul Healy, Chief Executive, Skillnet Ireland said: “Skillnet Ireland is focused on supporting Irish SMEs as they reopen their business and begin the road to recovery. The ReBound initiative will provide owners and managers with the practical tools and knowledge needed to help navigate the new protocol whilst also mitigating business disruption. With the training and supports delivered through digital platforms, businesses nationwide can benefit from ReBound. We are delighted to be working with industry and Government on this important issue, and we urge SMEs to avail of these fully subsidised supports we are putting in place.”

Commenting on the launch Geraldine Larkin, Chief Executive of NSAI said: “The Government’s Return to Work Safety Protocol is key to driving the ability of businesses to protect against, prepare for, respond to and recover from COVID-19 related disruptions. Undertaking the training being provided by Skillnet Ireland and supported by the NSAI will provide SMEs with additional guidance in getting back to work safely at this time. It is our hope that schemes like this will help lead the way to a safer reopening for businesses.”


Ibec CEO Danny McCoy said: “The health of the public and the workforce remains the primary concern for us all, but it is now essential that we apply a risk-based approach to balance these health concerns with wider wellbeing issues and the need to have a functioning economy. 

“The Return to Work Safely Protocol provides confidence to employers and employees that the safety and well-being of people at work can be securely managed, while the new Rebound initiative will support SMEs in understanding and adhering to the protocol and support businesses as we reopen our economy.”


Ian Talbot, Chambers Ireland said: “It is a great relief to see the economy beginning to reopen, after many weeks of economic shutdown. As we move along the road to recovery, we must ensure we do so safely. For our business community, there are as many challenges in reopening as there were during the closure and I welcome the supports being provided by Skillnet Ireland to SMEs to overcome these challenges. We are encouraging all of our members to engage with Skillnet Ireland by visiting the ReBound website and making use of the assistance available to them.”

Commenting on the new initiative, Sven Spollen-Behrens, Director, SFA said: “These are extremely challenging times for small businesses as they adjust to the ‘new normal’. The ReBound initiative will help SME owners and managers get up to speed with the Return to Work Safely Protocol and implement the measures in a safe and practical manner. We are pleased to be working with Skillnet Ireland on this initiative and we are encouraging our members to visit the ReBound website to ensure they are adequately prepared for the challenges ahead.”


The ReBound webinar training and information sessions will be structured across 3 levels, with 9 unique webinars sessions repeated weekly. Participants can sign up to as many webinar sessions as required, to gain the help and support they require.

A number of Skillnet Ireland Networks will also offer targeted online ReBound programmes to assist businesses in sectors with particular challenges including the retail, manufacturing, private healthcare, hair and beauty, childcare and creative sectors. For example, Image Skillnet is introducing an innovative programme for the hairdressing sector as it reopens in the coming weeks.

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