National College of Ireland is urging job seekers to consider retraining to close the skills gap in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector, with the announcement of two free higher diploma programmes in web technologies and software development.
The courses are being offered under the Higher Education Authority (HEA) ICT Skills Initiative.
NCI is offering up to 100 free college places under the scheme, which is aimed at unemployed graduates seeking to convert their skills and experience to a career in ICT. It will allow students to gain the skills and qualifications required to avail of the opportunities available in Ireland’s fast-growing and vibrant IT sector.
“What is particularly exciting about these programmes is the work placement with companies with acknowledged ICT skills needs,” said Deirdre Giblin, head of Professional Education and Training at National College of Ireland.
“This initiative is an excellent example of third-level education institutions working closely with industry facilitated by targeted Government funding. This is all about giving people the skills to get back to work in areas where there is a skills deficit and to that end these programmes also have a ‘Careersbridge’ element which prepares students for returning to the workplace."
Finding herself unemployed in 2010, Valerie Andrews availed of a similar scheme and enrolled on a web technologies programme at National College of Ireland. She supports Government-funded schemes and would encourage people in a similar situation to seriously consider a return to education.
“There is often a fear in going back to college but you meet great people and it is a very rewarding experience,” Andrews said.
“When you are considering going back to study, the cost of fees is a huge consideration and so Government schemes that can help with this are a huge opportunity. I would encourage anyone to look at the courses available. I see it as a huge benefit for your career and your confidence.”
NCI is holding an information evening on the available courses on Wednesday, 8 February, from 4-6pm at its IFSC campus in Dublin. Further information can also be found on the college website.
Siliconrepublic.com is hosting Skills February, a month dedicated to news, reports, interviews and videos covering a range of topics on the digital skills debate.