Skillnets, under its current mandate, does not provide training to unemployed people who fall into any of the following categories:
- Current participants on Jobs Initiative (JI) Schemes
- Non-European Economic Area (EEA) nationals holding immigration Stamp 1, Stamp 2 or Stamp 3
- Full-time students engaged in second or third-level education
Eligible Unemployed Individuals
Below are the categories of unemployed individuals who are eligible to participate in Skillnets training programmes. All participants must be resident in the Republic of Ireland.
Courses with work placements have additional eligibility criteria. For more information, see the Training and Work Placements page.
Unemployed persons with an entitlement to a Jobseekers Allowance (JA) or Jobseekers Benefit (JB) payment from the Department of Social Protection (DSP) may retain such payments subject to the Back to Education criteria of that Department.
- Disability Allowance
- Blind Pension
- Invalidity Pension
- Illness Benefit
- Supplementary Welfare Allowance
- Adult Dependants
- One Parent Family Payment
- Back-to-Work Allowance
- Back-to-Work Enterprise Allowance
- Short-term Enterprise Allowance
- Farm Assist
- Carer's Allowance*
* Carer’s Allowance scheme participants are eligible to attend Skillnets courses that do not include a work placement. Eligibility is subject to showing, to the Department of Social Protection’s satisfaction, that adequate care is being provided during absence, and combined activities of employment, self-employment, training or education courses do not exceed 15 hours per week outside the home.
Courses may be full or part-time and may be continuous or staggered over a period of time. If the course is part of the Job-seekers Support Programme (JSSP) it will include a work placement, the duration of which is included in the overall course duration.
Welfare recipients who wish to enrol in a course must first ascertain from the Skillnets training network the course code and duration before they contact their Social Welfare Local Office/Scheme Area.
Courses of 20 or less days’ duration
Skillnets courses of 20 or less days’ duration may be pursued without prior approval from Social Welfare Local Offices/Scheme Areas. Individuals in receipt of a Job-seekers payment or other payment (listed above) should inform their local offices, wherever possible in advance, of their intention to participate in such short programmes. If requested by the local office, the Skillnets’ networks will supply written details of the courses to the relevant trainees.
Courses exceeding 20 days’ duration
Individuals in receipt of a Job-seekers payment or other payment (listed above) must receive prior approval from their Social Welfare Local Offices/Scheme Area in order to participate on any Skillnets' training programme which exceeds 20 days in duration. For example, Disability Allowance recipients should contact the Disability Allowance Section within DSP.
Individuals who are not in receipt of a welfare payment from DSP and whose circumstances are described below, are eligible to participate in Skillnets' training programmes, regardless of the course duration.
- Former sole traders and business owners
- Recent graduates who are unemployed
- Individuals who fail to qualify for social welfare payments because of a spouse’s income
- Individuals signing on for credits but in receipt of no social welfare payment
- Individuals who have recently accepted redundancy payments
- Non-European Economic Area (EEA) nationals holding immigration Stamp 4
- Current participants on Community Employment (CE) Schemes
You must also refer to the Additional Important Information as outlined below.
- The Social Welfare Local Office (SWLO) is the final arbiter of welfare recipient eligibility.
- Where eligibility has been determined, this is not a guarantee of selection. Once eligibility has been established, each Skillnets training network is the final arbiter on who participates in training based on the network’s programme selection criteria.
- An application to attend a Skillnets training programme is not a guarantee of selection. An interest in participating in a Skillnets training programme does not confer automatic entitlement.
- Potential trainees should be aware that network managers may seek information about previous work history, education and career aspirations so as to ensure the programme they are interested in completing is relevant.
- If training occurs on the same day as a signing day, it is the responsibility of the unemployed trainee to inform the Social Welfare Local Office and arrange an alternative signing day prior to commencing training.
- All trainees, including unemployed trainees, are required to complete a Participant Profile Form and Evaluation Form after completing a training programme.
- Skillnets and/or a network may contact unemployed trainees after a programme is complete for the purposes of evaluating programmes and determining how people have progressed since completing training.