If you are unemployed or redundant or if you wish to update your skills or change your career, there is a wide range of Further Education and Training (FET) courses available to assist you.
You are eligible to take part in a FET course if you are unemployed, redundant or no longer in full-time education. You may also be eligible if you are getting a disability-related social welfare payment or a One-Parent Family Payment.
From 1 July 2014, all FET courses will be provided by Education and Training Boards
FÁS, SOLAS and ETBs
FÁS was dissolved and some of its functions were transferred to SOLAS. SOLAS, the new further education and training authority was set up on 26 October 2013.
On 1 January 2014, the FÁS training division began its transfer to the 16 Education and Training Boards (ETBs) which replaced VECs. All training courses will have transferred to ETBs on 1 July 2014. If you are currently on a training course, you will not be affected by these changes.
There are many FET courses available under 2 different types of training.
The Traineeship Programme provides training and relevant work experience. If you are unemployed and looking for an opportunity to gain training, experience and a formal qualification in a particular area of work, the Traineeship Programme may suit your needs. Traineeships are full-time. The duration of the programme will depend on the area in which you choose to train. When your initial training is completed, you move back and forth between the centre and the employer's workplace, further developing your skills and gaining practical experience. When you complete your course you will receive a Qualification and Quality Ireland (QQI) award at either Certificate or Advanced Certificate level.
The range of traineeships available is likely to change so you need to keep in touch with your local employment services office or Intreo centre for up-to-date information.
Skills Training allows people who have lost their job or who are
changing job to learn new job-related skills. There are short and long
day courses, online courses,
learning and evening courses.The courses on offer vary from centre to
centre and from year to year with different levels of certification. The
courses are run during the day and in the evenings. Priority on daytime courses
is given to unemployed people. A day course is free to all unemployed people,
even if you are not getting a social welfare payment. An evening course is not
free unless you are getting a social welfare payment.
Further Education and Training (FET) allowances
A FET training allowance may be paid if you take part in the Traineeship Programme or Specific Skills Training.
Apart from evening courses, all FET courses are free and you may be paid a FET training allowance for the duration of your course. You can also claim a meal allowance, an accommodation allowance if you need to live away from home for the duration of the course or a travel allowance if you live 5 km or more from the course centre. You may also qualify for free childcare.
You can read more details in our document on FET training
To apply for a place on a FET course, you must first register with your local employment services office or Intreo centre. You will be interviewed to identify the course that will best suit your needs. Due to the pressure on some courses, you may not get a place immediately on the course of your choice. You can search online for FET courses.
If you have a question relating to this topic you can contact the Citizens Information Phone Service on 0761 07 4000 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm) or you can visit your local Citizens Information Centre.