I am unemployed and I would like to improve my skills

What courses and training are available?

There are many courses for jobseekers and people who wish to retrain so you have a wide range of options. Courses are funded by SOLAS, the Education and Training Boards (ETBs), and various government departments and agencies.

You should register with your local Intreo centre or employment services office to find out about and apply for available courses. You can read the section on education and training to find out about all the options that may be open to you.

Are there courses that will specifically help me to get a job?

Momentum projects give jobseekers training and work experience in sectors of the economy where there are job opportunities. For example, full-time courses are offered in a range of sectors including Information and communications technology (ICT) and Built Environment (Construction). Course certification is at Level 5 or 6 on the National Framework of Qualifications or is industry recognised. Courses range in duration from 23 to 40 weeks and are run seasonally throughout the year so you will need to check momentumskills.ie to see what courses are currently recruiting.

If you have been unemployed for 12 months or more you can qualify for a Momentum course. You can keep your social welfare payment for as long are you are entitled to it while you are taking part in a Momentum course. If you are on a full-time Momentum course and you need childcare, you may qualify for a free childcare place under the Childcare Employment and Training Support (CETS) scheme.

Another option might be a full-time Further Education and Trainining (FET) course which provides training and relevant work experience for people who are unemployed or who have left school early. Traineeships are full-time and combine formal training with on-the-job training with an employer. The duration of the programme depends on the area in which you choose to train. When you complete your course you will receive a Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) award at either Certificate or Advanced Certificate level. You may be able to get a FET allowance during training.

What part-time courses are available?

If you are more interested in part-time courses, Springboard provides free higher education courses for jobseekers from certificate to master’s level, regardless of how long they have been unemployed. The courses offer up-to-date technical skills, as well as training in other relevant areas, in growing sectors which need skilled personnel. Courses vary in duration, with a maximum length of one calendar year. There are some full-time courses in the Information and communications technology (ICT). These courses focus on core computing and programming skills, take place over the course of one year and include a 3 to 6 month work placement.

You can keep your social welfare payment for as long are you are entitled to it while you are participating on a Springboard course.

Part-time Further Education and Training (FET) courses provide an opportunity to develop or upgrade your skills if you are unemployed or redundant. There are short and long day courses, online courses, blended 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.

What about work experience?

JobBridge, the National Internship Scheme provides work experience opportunities and is open to people of all education and skills levels. It is aimed at people who have been either getting a jobseeker’s payment or signing for credits for at least 3 months. Participants in the scheme will be offered an internship of 6 or 9 months with a host organisation. If you take part in JobBridge you get an extra €50 per week in addition to your jobseeker’s payment.

Page updated: 30 July 2014