Maura O'Shea

By Maura O'Shea

Posted: 16 October, 2020

6 people stand socially distanced on steps

Higher Education Authority CEO Dr Alan Wall joined Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris TD and Minister of State for Skills and Further Education, Niall Collins, at TU Dublin Bolton Street this week as they confirmed details of a €118m Skills package as part of Budget 2021.

The Skills package will include:

• 50,000 places for upskilling and reskilling opportunities – an increase of 10,000 places;
• Expansion of retrofitting stills programmes to support the national retrofitting programme;
• A new climate action upskilling scheme for businesses, and
• 1,000 apprentices taken on through the Apprenticeship Incentivisation Scheme and extension for the first half of 2021.

Speaking at the event, Minister Harris said COVID-19 has upended all our lives and while the challenges the crisis presented are unprecedented, they also open up unique opportunities for us.

“In this week’s Budget, we secured a package of €118m to help thousands of people reskill and retrain in areas where we need more workers or where there is potential for future employment,” Minister Harris said.

“One area we will focus on is the area of apprenticeship. To date, over 630 companies have applied for payments supporting the recruitment of over 1,100 apprentices. Budget 2021 allows us to extend the incentive payment to mid-2021, which will be a significant boost to business.”

“We have also secured funding to expand training courses in retrofit skills to 1,500 people per annum. We will extend programmes to include 500 places for people in search of employment in this developing area as well as providing more places for people in the construction sector. We will also develop five centres of excellence in Waterford-Wexford, Cork, Limerick-Clare, Mayo-Sligo and Leitrim, and Laois-Offaly Education and Training Boards with potential for additional Dublin and Galway facilities.”

Minister Collins said 2020 has been an incredibly difficult year for businesses and people with everyone having to adapt to new ways of working.

“We will also roll out a new climate action upskilling scheme through Skillnet Ireland. Skillnet programmes are industry led. Courses will be designed by industry, for industry and will give businesses the skills to adapt to a sustainable, low carbon economy,” Minister Collins said.



3 men stand in a lab with masks on watching a man with safety goggles speak

More: Alan wall, Minister for Further and Higher Education, minister simon harris, Skills

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