Killeen Welcomes Allocation Of 1,000 College Places For Unemployed

From: Dunphy PR
Published: Tue Aug 04 2009

The move follows last week's allocation of 1,500 part-time undergraduate college places for jobless workers. The new places, which are being funded by the Higher Education Authority, will be in the country's seven universities and 13 institutes of technology across a wide range of specialist, higher diploma and graduate certificate-level programmes.

The Clare T.D. noted that the allocation of postgraduate places is part of the Government's labour market activation initiative specifically aimed at upskilling and reskilling workers for jobs in the sectors of the economy considered key to tackling the recession and driving economic growth.

According to Minister of State Killeen: "While widespread job losses are a feature of many sectors of the economy, the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs has identified areas in which there are forecasted skills shortages at graduate level. These 1,000 postgraduate places, at universities and institutes such as Limerick Institute of Technology, University of Limerick and NUI Galway, are aimed at addressing skills deficits and helping unemployed workers to develop skills for the type of high-value jobs that will be key to economic recovery."

The former Minister for Labour Affairs added: "Applicants for these places will not have to pay the standard postgraduate tuition fees or student registration charge although a fee not exceeding EUR500 annually may be levied for some programmes. Students who get a job before their course finishes will not be required to pay tuition fees for the academic year during which they re-entered the workforce."

Unemployed workers should contact the relevant institution directly for information on individual courses and details on how to apply. Applicants will be asked to confirm that they've a claim for a jobseeker's payment of at least six months or else to provide a copy of form RP50 confirming they're entitled to statutory redundancy from their most recent employment. All unemployed workers will be entitled to retain their social welfare payments while on the courses that are up to two years' long.

Full details of the courses and the institutions providing them are available on the Higher Education Authority website The information is also available from local FÁS and Department of Social and Family Affairs offices.


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