Skills Connect to retrain people who have lost jobs

A new initiative is being launched today aimed at retraining individuals who have lost their jobs as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Details of the Skills Connect programme are to be announced by the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris. 

It is hoped the initiative will assist up to 2,000 people by the end of the year and will be aimed in particular at people in the hospitality, retail and tourism trade who are unemployed. 

The Irish Hotels’ Federation estimates that 100,000 people have lost their jobs across the industry already, but it is hoped that some of the job losses will be temporary. 

The Federation says tens of thousands more jobs are at risk as Level 3 restrictions come into effect across the country today for the next three weeks. 

The Skills Connect programme will give participants the chance to reskill and

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Alameda County Public Health Department Moves to the Cloud to Connect to Callers During COVID-19

The Alameda County Public Health Department (ACPHD) in California manages a broad array of programs and services designed to protect the health and safety of 1.5 million residents across 13 Bay Area cities. Because those services include disease prevention and control, health education, and medical and health care services, the COVID-19 outbreak prompted a spike in phone calls to the organization. The department’s call agents, which typically receive about 300 calls a week, received nearly 1,800 calls per week in March. ACPHD was quickly overwhelmed, causing the average time to handle a call to grow to five minutes and 42 seconds, and the average queue time increasing from nearly nothing to 38 minutes.

“We received an unmanageable number of calls from the public regarding COVID-19 and evolving shelter-in-place orders,” says Stephen De La Vega, information systems manager at ACPHD. “We couldn’t conduct business as usual in that situation.”

Several years

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