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New one-stop shop will help upskilling

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Higher Education Minister Simon Harris

Higher Education Minister Simon Harris

Higher Education Minister Simon Harris

A new one-stop-shop for upskilling and apprenticeship courses is being launched as part of a government effort to encourage people who lost their jobs during the Covid-19 pandemic to retrain.

The first-of-its-kind online resource will combine all apprenticeship and third-level education options available and help people find the course that best suits.

The move follows invest- ment in new third-level education and apprenticeship courses.

Speaking ahead of the launch of The Right Course initiative, Higher Education Minister Simon Harris said there is a huge range of upskilling options available, but added that the current system is "complex and can over-burden some people".

Mr Harris said the new online portal, to be launched today, will provide a clear picture of what is on offer and how courses can be accessed.

"If you are unemployed temporarily as a result of Covid-19, now could be the time to do a short course," Mr Harris said.

"You can still retain your welfare payments while undertaking the course. If you are in employment but want to improve your skillset, there are options available."

Mr Harris said the pandem- ic has forced the Government to confront the skills short- age facing the country and said upskilling certain areas of the work- force is "critical to securing our recovery".

Talent

"Ireland is a small country. We cannot afford to have untapped talent and we cannot leave any person locked out of society because of a lack of skills," he said.

"This new portal will be a valuable tool to help each person identify the most suitable upskilling option for themselves and their teams. It is never too late to learn something new."

Mr Harris said 1,358 employers so far have availed of the Apprenticeship Incentivisation Scheme which gives them a €3,000 grant for each apprentice they hire.

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