Applications now open for free training courses through Skill Up

  • Economy Minister Gordon Lyons has hailed the Skill Up initiative as he highlighted that applications are open for more than 7,000 free training courses for 2022/23.

    Skill Up, supported by an investment of up to £23million from the Department for the Economy and the Northern Ireland Office (NIO), is fully funding local further and higher education providers to deliver more than 20,000 training places in over 250 subject areas for accredited qualifications ranging from Level 1 to Level 7.

    Funding through Skill Up enabled more than 7,500 people to benefit from courses in 2021/22 and applications are now open for more free courses in the forthcoming academic year.

    The Minister, who announced the initiative in September last year, visited Queen’s University Belfast with Minister of State for Northern Ireland Conor Burns to meet some of the students who availed of free training courses in year one of Skill Up.

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    Economy Minister Gordon Lyons said: “Skill Up is one element of a wide range of skills and training funding that my Department put in place to help address the economic impact effects of the pandemic, with around 15,000 training places already funded since May 2020. Skill Up will run until the 2023/24 academic year, funding high quality training, in priority areas of need, that is directly applicable in the world of work.”

    Around 7,000 places are now available to apply for in the coming academic year. Courses are primarily online, allowing for greater accessibility and choice for participants. The nidirect website has details on how to apply.

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    Minister of State for Northern Ireland Conor Burns said: “We want to help people reach their potential with the Skill Up initiative, funded as part of the New Deal for Northern Ireland, giving more than 20,000 people the chance to build their skills and gain better employment.The programme, in partnership with the Northern Ireland Department for the Economy, will help to create a pipeline of talent and ensure that the people of Northern Ireland have the ability to shape their local economy as the Government continues its mission to level up across the UK.”

    Professor David Jones, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education and Students at Queen’s University Belfast, added: “Skill Up is designed to support skills development in those who may not otherwise get the opportunity, and the range of programmes from digital innovation and green technologies, to leadership programmes and biostatistics, means this opportunity is open to a variety of potential students to build their skills”

    Applications for all Skill Up courses are open now – full details are at:

    Source: Written from press release.

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    Aoife is a Sync NI writer with a previous background working in print, online and broadcast media. She has a keen interest in all things tech related. To connect with Aoife feel free to send her an email or connect on LinkedIn.

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