Skills to Advance - Information for Employers

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Information for Employers

What is employee development?

The Employee Development policy will enable targeted support for vulnerable groups in the Irish workforce, particularly those who have lower skills and who need more opportunities to advance in their working lives and careers, to sustain their employment and to avoid displacement and avail of emerging job opportunities.
The policy supports small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) who need assistance to invest in and develop their workforce.
Employee Development draws on a vision of the workplace in Ireland where:
  • Upskilling during one’s working life is considered normal practice and has a direct correlation with enhanced job security, higher earnings and autonomy at work for employees

  • Indigenous and multinational firms systematically invest in the development of their staff and benefit through improved productivity and competitiveness of their employees and business

  • Provision in further education and training which supports employee development is flexible, high quality, accessible and relevant to the changing needs of employees, the economy and industry
ETBs will provide three access routes to all levels of FET provision as follows:
  • Route 1 – Direct employee access – where employees can access further education and training in ETBs directly by enrolling for relevant development options

  • Route 2 – Access via enterprise engagement – where employees access further education and training through their employer partnering with an ETB

  • Route 3 – regional initiatives – where employees participate in further education and training as a result of a particular identified regional skills development initiative.


The key benefits to your business include:
  • Supporting enhanced productivity in Irish SMEs

  • Driving effective regional development

  • Responding to changing nature of jobs and skills requirements

  • Meeting the skills development needs of the target groups

  • Supporting development of soft skills

Am I eligible to apply?

The following groups of employers are eligible to apply:   
  • SMEs with employees whose skill level is below level 5 on the National Framework of Qualifications can access upskilling opportunities, with a particular focus on:  employees in jobs with low skill requirement, 50+ years of age and in sectors/occupations at risk of economic displacement

  • SMEs and other organisations with limited capacity to identify and meet skills development needs of their employees, will be assisted in identifying training needs and providing training solutions for their workforce.

  • Employers in industry sectors with particular skill needs arising from emerging opportunities or as a result of economic vulnerabilities. Support will be provided to employers of all sizes in industry sectors which are experiencing particular changes in work practices, technology and markets.

Where can I find out more about courses?

Provision will be through the sixteen Education and Training Boards (ETBs) around the country.