The appetite for upskilling and reskilling among the Irish public appears to be intensifying, if traffic figures from flexible learning website BlueBrick.ie are anything to go by.
Set up in 2010, the site allows users to compare courses and register online. It has recorded a 15-fold increase in traffic compared to last year, with more than 90,000 visitors in August alone.
“This is the time of year when education comes to mind for many, and with an uncertain economic outlook for the country, the best way to try to advance and build a better future for yourself is to undertake a course to develop your qualifications,” said Dr Richard Thorn, director of flexible learning, Institutes of Technology Ireland.
“While BlueBrick.ie offers courses which start at various times during the year, the majority of the courses commence in the coming weeks. This phenomenal increase in visitors to the site indicated that demand for course places is at an all-time high across all age profiles and so we suggest that those interested research their options as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.
"The site has seen a huge surge in popularity since its inception in early 2010 and this is sure to create an increase in demand for courses.”
Developed by Institutes of Technology Ireland
The Institutes of Technology Ireland developed the site originally, but it now offers courses from a variety of third-level institutions. The site’s focus is on part-time and flexible learning courses, allowing learners the opportunity to study at a time and place that suits them, as opposed to traditional classroom learning.
It lets the user enter in previous qualifications and experience, and will suggest courses the user may be interested in, as well as a learning method most suited to them.
BlueBrick.ie is also the online web portal for those interested in applying for courses through the Springboard programme, the government initiative which allows the unemployed to undertake certain courses for free while retaining their unemployment benefits.
Photo: Dr Richard Thorn, director of Flexible Learning at the Institutes of Technology Ireland, and contortionist Anita Woods