Skills Connect

skills connect

Design Print and Packaging Skillnet facilitates a Skills Connect Programme. Skills Connect is designed in partnership with enterprise to enhance cross-sector employability and support people who have lost their jobs. It offers a suite of bespoke upskilling and training solutions, designed by enterprise, aimed at supporting re-entry into the workforce.

Skills Connect offers free online training programmes and enterprise-led virtual job placements to jobseekers looking for new jobs and careers. This valuable initiative offers individuals the opportunity to develop new skills or reskill, build confidence and access practical on-the-job training.

Design Print and Packaging Skillnet have received funding from Skillnet Ireland for training courses through the Skills Connect initiative in 2020/21. See our latest Skills Connect Programme details here.

Skills ConnectFor Individuals

Have you found yourself out of work and need to develop your skills? Skills Connect has been specifically designed for you.

Skills Connect offers free, online training which will help you reskill and develop the skills that employers are looking for today. Together with our Skillnet Networks we offer innovative training and upskilling programmes, each offering practical work placements or projects.

Our skills conversion courses can help you develop the skills to explore a career in a sector with greater employment potential. Enhance your job prospects by refreshing your existing skill set and expertise and learn new skills.

Applicants must meet the Skills Connect eligibility criteria and meet the specific entry criteria for the relevant programme.

Skills Connect – For Business

Through Skills Connect, Skillnet Ireland Networks are developing sector-specific responses to support the development of those whose careers have been impacted by COVID-19.

Skills Connect will help address challenges facing enterprise and our workforce including; Brexit, the acceleration of digitalisation and supporting Ireland’s green economy. Skillnet Networks work in partnership with enterprise to design rapid upskilling supports to impacted workers.

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.

Job Seekers

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)

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
  • Homemakers
  • 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 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:

  1. Current participants on Jobs Initiative (JI) Schemes
  2. Non-European Economic Area (EEA) nationals holding immigration Stamp 1, Stamp 2 or Stamp 3
  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 Learning Network to decide who participates in training based on the network’s programme selection criteria
  • Skillnet Learning 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 Learning 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

Further details on Eligible Individuals who are Welfare Payment Recipients

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