Overview: Education and training

There is a very wide range of courses for jobseekers and people who wish to retrain. You should register with your local Intreo centre or employment services office to find out about and apply for available courses. Most courses for jobseekers are free and you may also get a weekly allowance while you are doing the course.

Courses and training programmes for jobseekers

Further Education and Training (FET) courses provide an opportunity to develop or upgrade your skills if you are unemployed or redundant. You may be eligible for an allowance while you are doing a FET course. Apprenticeships are also offered under SOLAS.

Springboard provides free higher education places for jobseekers. Springboard courses target areas where there are job opportunities and growth. Springboard courses are mainly part-time but there are also some full-time Springboard courses.

Momentum provides education and training courses for long-term unemployed people. It includes education, work placement and support.

The Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme (VTOS) provides an opportunity to return to full-time education if you are an unemployed adult or getting certain social welfare payments. Courses are designed to meet the education and training needs of unemployed people and are particularly suitable if you have been out of school for some time.

Post Leaving Certificate (PLC) courses are open to school-leavers and adult participants, offering a mixture of practical work, academic work and work experience.

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

Skillnets training is offered to eligible unemployed people by private sector companies who have set up training networks to deliver a range of accredited and/or industry-recognised programmes. You can search for training courses on the Skillnets website.

You can read about other training options in our document on education and training supports.

More information

If you are on certain vocational courses and you need childcare, you may qualify for a free childcare place under the Childcare Employment and Training Support (CETS) scheme.

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.

Qualifax provides comprehensive information on further and higher education and training courses.

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

Page updated: 28 July 2014