SKILLS MATCH launched: New platform to help businesses share their skills and expertise to benefit society during and beyond COVID-19

Business in the Community Northern Ireland (BITCNI) in partnership with NICVA, and supported by the Department for Communities, is delighted to announce the launch of SKILLS MATCH – a new, online platform that matches business people with projects aimed at tackling social challenges.

The platform has been designed to meet the needs arising due to COVID-19 and beyond.

  • SKILLS MATCH is a new, online platform that will match business people with projects tackling social challenges during COVID-19 and beyond.
  • SKILLS MATCH has been developed to match the skills and expertise of business volunteers to support local community, voluntary and social enterprise organisations in areas where they are looking for specialist and professional input but do not have the resources to pay for it.
  • SKILLS MATCH will also match business volunteers with public sector programmes to contribute to project teams, or to offer additional resources and skills for the benefit of society.
  • SKILLS MATCH is supported by the Department for Communities and is in partnership with the Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action (NICVA).

Denise Cranston, Head of Workplace and Community Programmes explains: “Before the onset of COVID-19, we had been working to develop SKILLS MATCH as many businesses wanted to enable their people to share their skills and knowledge beyond their core job. The willingness of people who want to help has never been more evident than it is right now, even at a time when businesses themselves are adapting. SKILLS MATCH aims to connect business support to the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector, but also to enable strategic and design thinking support to come from the private sector into public sector projects.”

Seamus McAleavey, Chief Executive, NICVA adds: “During this time, we need to think about the sustainability of our voluntary, community and social enterprise sector as they seek to provide vital support to those who are most vulnerable in our society both now and in the future. The sector is devastated by the societal and economic impacts of this crisis, and SKILLS MATCH will provide a lifeline for many of these groups. It is a step beyond the financial assistance that many companies are already providing. The new resource will bring business skills and expertise to organisations in need, perhaps through HR and financial advice, strategic planning or by new ways of marketing and engaging using digital methods.”

Communities Minister, Deirdre Hargey endorsed this new platform, commenting: “We are delighted to support the development and launch of SKILLS MATCH, and I am pleased that we are bringing the three strands of business, community and government together in a collaborative approach to meet the needs of people during this time of COVID-19. SKILLS MATCH will enable positive action both now and as we enter a recovery phase. I would encourage any community, voluntary or social enterprise organisation, or government department that would benefit from these resources or skills, to register now. I offer my sincere thanks to the brilliant businesses and their employees who are willing to share their professional support.”

If you would like to get involved in SKILLS MATCH, a series of webinars have been planned to help the VCSE sector, or if you would like to offer your skills and expertise, please visit to book your place.


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