Why retraining may be the best cure for unemployment

In today’s fast ever-changing world, it’s more important than ever to make sure you have the skills necessary to remain competitive in a shrinking job market.

In today’s fast ever-changing world, it’s more important than ever to make sure you have the skills necessary to remain competitive in a shrinking job market.

Whether you’re looking for a job or looking to get on in your career, improving your skills for work can open up new opportunities. There’s a huge range of courses available. Some are free, and you may qualify for financial help. There’s also plenty of free advice to help you decide what’s right for you.

Whatever stage you’re at in life, learning new skills could improve your career prospects. Research predicts that in the future there will be fewer jobs for people lacking skills - meaning that skills are likely to become more and more important as time goes on.

Help and advice is available whether you’re currently working or not. There are different schemes to suit the needs of different people. There are plenty of options if you want to improve your work skills.

If you’re looking for a job, there are several schemes to help you. Most give you the opportunity to learn while you’re doing so. If you are working, you may be able to get training through your employer.

Higher education and your career

If you want to develop your skills for work further, a higher education qualification could be the answer. There’s a huge range of courses to choose from, including vocational courses aimed at people who want to get on in a particular line of work.


An Apprenticeship lets you learn on the job, gaining a qualification while you’re earning. Apprenticeships are available in many different areas, from business administration to engineering, beauty therapy or health and social care.

Getting training if you’re already in work

If you’re looking to gain new skills relevant to the world of work - and you’ve already got a job - talking to your employer is often a good first step.

According to international experts, based on job listings, unemployment would tumble if workers had the right skills. Along with a stalled housing market that depresses labour mobility, one of the big problems facing the country is that “we have too many bankers and not enough mechanics,” says one expert. Indeed, some companies in the manufacturing sector have complained that a shortage of skilled workers is a key reason they’re unable to boost sales.

FÁS has increased the range of training options available to Job Seekers to assist their re-entry into the labour market. Courses, such as Specific Skills Training and Traineeships which lead to major awards on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) will continue to be offered. FÁS also offers a number of Short Courses (typically 2 modules) as well as Evening Courses, Online Courses and Blended Learning Courses which lead to component certification and/or industry recognised certification.

Clients can view information on Training Programmes, Search for a course or discuss training options with an Employment Services Officer by contacting their local FÁS Employment Services Office or Training Centre.

Employees wishing to further their training and improve their knowledge, skills base and competence can undertake Employee Training in a range of industries from clothing to transport according to demand. FÁS encourages this education in the workplace and the improvement of skills for work, or ‘upskilling’, through its One Step Up initiative. Other sectoral training includes the Construction Skills Certification Scheme and Safe Pass for those interested in construction and Screen Training Ireland for those seeking a career in the film industry.

FÁS offers dedicated services aimed at providing eligible people with an opportunity to participate in community life through community based training programmes and work experience.

Information on training and employment for people with disabilities or special needs, including Specialist Training Providers, as well as other social inclusion programmes can be found on the FÁS website.

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