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Try some free training courses with Skillnets

Find out more about the eligibility for jobseekers


Written by SpunOut | View this authors Twitter page and posted in employment


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Skillnets provides free training courses to jobseekers in areas in which Irish businesses have identified skills shortages. Groups of companies with similar training needs set up training networks in a range of sectors and regions and offer courses to jobseekers. Jobseekers train alongside employees on most courses, and a limited number of courses include work experience. 

Courses are offered in a variety of sectors including: 

  • IT 
  • Healthcare 
  • Design 
  • Retail 
  • Manufacturing 
  • Engineering 
  • International financial services 
  • Pharmaceutical 
  • Agriculture 

You can browse and select courses on the Skillnets website

How do I know if I'm eligible?

All participants must be resident in the Republic of Ireland. You may be eligible if you are in receipt of any of the following payments:

  • Job-seekers Allowance (JA) / Job-seekers Benefit (JB) Recipients
  • Disability Allowance
  • Blind Pension
  • Invalidity Pension
  • Illness Benefit
  • Supplementary Welfare Allowance
  • Adult Dependants
  • One Parent Family Payment
  • Back-to-Work Allowance
  • Back-to-Work Enterprise Allowance
  • Short-term Enterprise Allowance
  • Farm Assist
  • Carer's Allowance

Individuals who are not in receipt of a welfare payment from DSP and whose circumstances are described below, are eligible to participate in Skillnets' training programmes, regardless of the course duration.

  • Former sole traders and business owners
  • Recent graduates who are unemployed
  • 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
  • Current participants on Community Employment (CE) Schemes
  • Courses with work placements have additional eligibility criteria.

Ineligible Unemployed Individuals

Skillnets 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

Your local Social Welfare office will decide if you can undertake a course or not and simply applying doesn’t mean you will be selected. For news on Skillnets, you can follow them on Twitter.

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Published November 22nd, 2016
Tags training skills training courses
Can this be improved? Contact editor@spunout.ie if you have any suggestions for this article.

Need more information?

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Youth Work Ireland - Crosscare - YMCA

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