Skillnet Ireland funds upskilling courses for unemployed trainees nationwide – designed in partnership with enterprise – to help jobseekers acquire skills that are in demand from enterprise within the relevant sector or region.
In October 2020, Skillnet Ireland launched its new Skills Connect programme, designed exclusively for people seeking employment. Skillnet Ireland Business Networks have been funded to deliver Skills Connect programmes for those seeking to re-enter the workforce. Click here to learn more about Skills Connect.
Skills Connect training is free and is open to most unemployed people, subject to eligibility criteria below.
Please read the eligibility criteria below to determine if you are eligible to participate in our training for people who are seeking employment.
Eligible Individuals who are Welfare Payment Recipients
Unemployed people with an entitlement to a Jobseekers Allowance (JA) or Jobseekers Benefit (JB) payment from the Department of Employment Affairs & Social Protection (DEASP) may retain such payments subject to the Back to Education criteria of that Department.
People in receipt of other forms of income support from DEASP may retain such payments subject to the Back to Education criteria of that Department. Other forms of income support include:
- Jobseeker’s Credits only
- Blind Pension
- Disability Allowance
- Farm/Fish Assist
- Illness Benefit
- Invalidity Pension
- One-Parent Family Payment
- Rural Social Scheme
- Supplementary Welfare Allowance
- Adult Dependants (of listed schemes)
COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment
People in receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) may participate in training delivered through Skillnet Ireland’s Skills Connect scheme. As most training available through these initiatives is of short duration or part-time, recipients may continue to receive the PUP. However, once recipients identify the specific training programme that they wish to undertake, they must check their eligibility to retain the PUP with their Intreo office.
Eligible Individuals who are not Welfare Payment Recipients
Individuals who are not in receipt of a welfare payment from DEASP and whose circumstances are described below are eligible to participate.
- Former sole traders and business owners
- Recent graduates who are unemployed
- Retirees seeking to return to the workplace
- Individuals who fail to qualify for social welfare payments because of a spouse’s income
- Individuals signing on for credits but in receipt of no social welfare payment
- Individuals who have recently accepted redundancy payments
- Non-European Economic Area (EEA) nationals holding immigration Stamp 4
Programme Duration Conditions for Welfare Recipients
Programmes offered by Skillnet Ireland Business Networks may be full or part-time and may be continuous or staggered over time. Programmes typically will incorporate a work placement, the duration of which is included in the overall course duration.
Programmes of 20 or less days’ duration
Programmes of 20 or less days’ duration may be pursued without prior approval from Intreo Offices/DEASP Scheme Areas. Individuals in receipt of a Job-seekers payment or other payment (listed above) should inform their local offices, wherever possible in advance, of their intention to participate in such short programmes.
Programmes Exceeding 20 days’ Duration
Individuals in receipt of a Job-seekers payment or other payment (listed above) must receive prior approval from INTREO Offices/DEASP Scheme Areas to participate on programmes delivered by training networks which exceeds 20 days in duration. For example, Disability Allowance recipients should contact the Disability Allowance Section within DEASP.
Ineligible Unemployed Individuals
Skillnet Ireland, under its current mandate, does not provide training to unemployed people who fall into any of the following categories:
- Current participants on Jobs Initiative (JI) Schemes
- Non-European Economic Area (EEA) nationals holding immigration Stamp 1, Stamp 2 or Stamp 3
- Full-time students engaged in second or third-level education.
Important Additional Information for Unemployed Individuals
Please note that:
- Once eligibility has been established, it is the responsibility of the Skillnet Business Network to decide who participates in training based on the network’s programme selection criteria
- Skillnet Business Network Managers may seek information about previous work history, education and career aspirations to ensure programmes that candidates are interested in completing are relevant
- If training occurs on the same day as a signing day, it is the responsibility of the learner to inform the INTREO Office and arrange an alternative signing day prior to commencing training
- All trainees are required to complete relevant programme documentation including a Participant Profile Form and a Training Evaluation Form
- After training is complete, learners may be contacted by the Skillnet Business Networks or a representative of Skillnet Ireland for the purposes of evaluating programmes and determining how learners have progressed since the completion of training
- Learners must be resident in the Republic of Ireland
Many agencies throughout Ireland provide opportunities to acquire new skills or further develop your existing skills. Further information on the broad range of training and education options offered by agencies and initiatives throughout Ireland for those seeking employment can be found here on the Citizens Information website.