Looking for work: education and training

Introduction

If you are about to lose your job or if you are unemployed you could consider going back to education or training. You can continue your education or take part in a training course in order to develop your skills, either within the formal school and college system or outside of it.

Qualifax

Qualifax provides comprehensive information on further and higher education and training courses. They include different types of courses some of which lead to qualifications while others do not. The database includes information for adult learners and recognition of prior learning with links to college and other education/training websites.

Training and education courses for unemployed people

The Springboard Programme provides higher education places for unemployed people on a range of part-time courses from Levels 6 to 9 on the National Framework of Qualifications.

Skillstowork.ie is a guide for jobseekers and employers to the following Government skills initiatives – Springboard, JobsPlus and Skillnets.

Supports

The Back to Education Programme can support people getting a social welfare payment to access second-level and third-level education.

The Part-Time Education Option allows you to keep your Jobseeker's Allowance or Jobseeker's Benefit and attend a part-time day or evening course that will improve your chances of getting a job.

The Education, Training and Development Option allows you to keep your jobseeker’s payment and attend a course not covered by the standard Back to Education Allowance, such as a personal development course.

Education

You don't need formal qualifications in order to take part in many of the full-time and part-time courses that are on offer in the adult education and community education sectors. Adult education courses can include further and third-level education or continuing education and training. The range of courses available includes both part-time and full-time courses. Community education refers to adult education and learning, generally outside the formal education sector. It promotes personalised learning and flexibility within the learning group.

There are a number of sources of information on returning to education which can tell you more about the courses which may be available to you.

Training

The Education and Training Boards (ETBs), SOLAS and other agencies fund a number of continuing education and training programmes. ETBs organise second-level, adult, community and second chance education. You can contact your local ETB for more details. They also operate the Vocational Training and Opportunities Scheme (VTOS) which provides a range of courses to meet the education and training needs of unemployed people.

Further Education and Training (FET) courses offer you an opportunity to develop or upgrade your skills in the commercial and industrial sectors if you are unemployed or redundant. You can search online for training courses.

Traineeships offer you a mixture of on-the-job training with an employer and off-the job training in a training centre. You can take part in a course if you are either a first-time jobseeker or unemployed.

Local training initiatives provide full-time work experience and training which is run by local community groups.

Community Training Centres are independent community-based organisations. They look after the training and employment needs of early school leavers, primarily aged between 16 and 21.

If you are between 15 and 20 years of age and have left school without any formal qualifications, the Youthreach programme will provide you with opportunities for basic education, personal development, vocational training and work experience.

Other agencies

Agencies such as Fáilte Ireland, Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), Teagasc, Coillte and the Crafts Council of Ireland offer you a range of specialist courses in their specific areas of work. Other organisations such as Centres for the Unemployed, Family Resource Centres and Local Development Companies also provide training.

Skillnets networks offer some training to eligible unemployed people. If you are unemployed you will not pay for this training. You can search for training courses on the Skillnets website.

Training and work experience

The JobBridge, National Internship Scheme is aimed at unemployed people who have been either getting a jobseeker's payment or signing for credits for at least 3 months.

The Work Placement Programme offers work experience and you may be able to keep your social welfare payment.

Employment schemes such as Community Employment and Tús provide short-term work opportunities for unemployed people. You can read more in our document, Schemes to support employment.

Page edited: 25 September 2017