Deputy Dillon – Welcomes plan to help people get back to work

Mayo TD Alan Dillon has welcomed plans by the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD to invest over €30 million in free and subsidised higher education places to help get people back to work, upskill workers and build economic confidence while continuing to manage the impact of COVID-19.

The funding has been approved to support the provision of 11,597 places on short, modular courses together with an additional 2,555 postgraduate places nationally.

Deputy Dillon said: “People are really suffering as a result of this pandemic and the Government is working to provide opportunities for those who have been most affected and ensure that they have the skills that are needed by employers today. Many courses focus on future proofing the skills of those in employment, particularly in roles that may be impacted by going online.

“These courses will enable people across the country to embark on new pathways or refresh or reskill in their employment. We must ensure a jobs-led recovery by putting upskilling and SME supports center stage. This is a crucial part of the jigsaw.”

GMIT has been awarded a total of 25 additional post-graduate places and 1260 additional modular places. This will really assist young people and those looking to upskill in Mayo. The places are available on courses in a wide range of skills areas, including Data Analytics, Environmental Sciences, Engineering, Tourism and Hospitality, ICT & Health and welfare including Medical Technology.

Modular courses are short and focused and will be offered in a flexible manner, allowing people to gain important skills without taking a considerable period away from the labour market.

Each module will be stand-alone so that participants can gain skills and put them into practice immediately in the workplace, but modules are also accredited in such a way as to provide building blocks to a full qualification should the student so wish.

Minister Harris said: “This is exactly the kind of initiative, we need to increase Irish university capacity to extract and adapt high-demand modules from existing programs, and develop tailored courses, to suit the needs of enterprise and lifelong learning.”

Details of these courses will be available on the HEA website, and anyone interested in applying should contact the higher education institution directly for further details.