Hundreds of free and subsidised higher education places will be made available in Galway colleges as part of the 2022 Springboard+ and HCI Pillar 1 initiatives.
Over 850 places across 28 courses have been allocated to colleges in Galway, including NUI Galway and ATU Mayo Galway.
Forty percent of all the courses nationwide will run entirely online, and 60% through blended learning, meaning those in Galway will have access to hundreds more courses.
The 11,600 places nationwide are open to people who are unemployed, or those who are in employment and are looking to upskill or change career.
Courses are available across a number of sectors, with a particular focus on areas where there are skills shortages.
This includes ICT, high-level manufacturing, financial services, medical devices, biopharma, entrepreneurship, and green skills.
Dr Vivienne Patterson, Head of Skills and Engagement at the Higher Education Authority, said Springboard+ has gone from strength to strength over the past 11 years, and they are delighted to announce the latest cohort of courses available.
The courses that are being made available address areas with critical skill shortages in the labour market – ultimately leading to qualifications that are in demand among employers.
“Now in its third year, the HCI Pillar 1 initiative also continues to offer graduate conversion courses to people across the country who may be looking to upskill for future job prosperity in areas such as ICT, engineering, data analytics and technology,” said Dr Patterson.
“We are going through a time of great change in the jobs market – with factors such as remote working, and the cost of living forcing people to re-evaluate their careers.
“These programmes are an excellent opportunity for anyone who may be hoping to return to the workforce after taking some time out; for people who may be hoping to upskill or retrain in a new area; or anyone who is unemployed and wants to re-enter the workforce.
“With the blended and online learning options, there are hundreds of options available to the people of Galway, which is vital in ensuring people in every corner of the country – whether they are in employment or returning to the workforces – can easily access courses.”