Each network is made up of a group of companies which have shared training needs. This may mean that the companies in the network may be in the same sector, the same region, or the same supply chain. They may also have common needs because they are primarily small businesses who want to develop training solutions that are relevant to companies with a small number of employees.
For over 10 years, sectoral networks have been the predominant type of Skillnets networks. This was a trend that emerged from companies and the appeal of sectoral networks is their ability to meet common training needs with other companies from within the same sector, while benefiting from increased efficiency, lower costs and networking.
A regional network enables training to be delivered to a wide mix of member companies locally which results in reduced costs and local companies having greater access to subsidised training.
82% of the participating companies in the Training Networks Programme (TNP) 2011 were either small (less than 50 employees) or micro (less than 10) enterprises. For many of these small companies their involvement in Skillnets is their first significant involvement in training and often it is their first time to be involved in making real and informed decisions about what training to provide. Networks can assist small companies in particular to access training more easily, more quickly and more cost effectively.