Try some free training courses with Skillnet

Find out more about the eligibility for jobseekers

Written by spunout


Skillnet 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 Skillnet 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 Skillnet’s 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

Skillnet 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 Skillnet, you can follow them on Twitter.

Need more information?

We are here to answer your questions and talk through your options. Our online chat service is for 16 to 25 year olds and is available Monday to Friday, 4pm to 8pm. Chat to us now about your situation.

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