The Northern Ireland Executive has announced a £1.7 million investment to support online learning for people whose jobs have been impacted by Covid-19.
Economy Minister Diane Dodds (pictured) said it should help to upskill and retrain people by creating almost 2,000 free places on short courses, delivered by the local further education colleges and universities.
The Executive has made details available through the nidirect website, with all the courses being advertised directly by the colleges and universities.
They cover a range of accredited courses, from entry to postgraduate levels, focussing on skills in areas including digital, employability, leadership and management.
A range of courses aligned to work in the health and social care sector have also been funded, in direct response to the demands placed on this sector throughout the public health emergency.
Opportunities and potential
Dodds said: “Many people and businesses have been deeply affected by the economic impact of Covid-19. It is vital, in the short term, that we provide opportunities for individuals which will support them in finding new employment, or boost the potential of their businesses when they return to work.
“Northern Ireland employers have long reported skills gaps in areas such as digital skills, English, mathematics and the employability skills crucial for effective engagement in the workplace. This funding will enable people to gain these skills and help them to re-engage with the labour market with new pathways to higher level qualifications.
“Covid-19 has also brought into sharp focus those working in the health and social care sector and the need to ensure that we have a sufficient supply of appropriately skilled workers to meet the demand. With these reskilling opportunities available through these short term courses, there is the potential for workers directly affected by the economic impact of Covid-19 to embark on a new career in this essential and rewarding service.”
All the courses will be delivered online, include an accredited qualification and be complete by the 30 November.
Image from northernireland.gov.uk, Open Government Licence v3.0