There are 1,550 free and subsidised higher education places available in Galway for the next academic year, as part of two government initiatives.
The courses on offer in Galway this year include a Certificate in Business Analytics and a Certificate in Quality for the Medical Device Industry from GMIT, and a Post Graduate Certificate in Leadership Development from NUI Galway.
Almost 13,000 places are available for courses across Ireland under the Springboard+ and HCI Pillar 1 programmes in 2020.
The two initiatives provide free courses for people who are unemployed and people who have taken time out of work or education to raise their families or care for loved ones.
For those in employment, the Government will fund 90% of the cost of a Springboard+ or HCI Pillar 1 course.
Commenting today, Dr. Vivienne Patterson, Head of Skills and Engagement at the Higher Education Authority, said: “The economy and labour market has been transformed by Covid-19 so there is no better time to learn new skills to transition back into employment, change career, or progress up the ladder.
“The Springboard+ courses are designed with industry and based on areas where there are skills shortages.
“Similarly, HCI Pillar 1 courses offer places for graduates to reskill in areas of skills shortage and emerging technologies Recent HEA research has shown that 90% of Springboard+ participants who were unemployed at the start of their courses are now in employment.”
This year, 91% of Springboard+ courses offer flexible options like blended and online learning.
“Springboard+ providers have always embraced flexible learning, but the Covid-19 crisis has significantly increased the number of courses being offered in this way,” added Dr. Patterson.
“This means people from Galway can, effectively, participate in courses anywhere in Ireland – and vice versa. This level of flexibility means people can access a wider range of courses more easily, adhere to social distancing measures, and better balance work and family commitments.”