Clare Fine Gael Senator Tony Mulcahy has welcomed the announcement that free educating and training places are being provided for up 6,500 people who are long-term unemployed.
The MOMENTUM programme is a new Government initiative, which has been launched by the Minister for Education, Ruairí Quinn TD, and the Minister of State for Training and Skills, Ciarán Cannon TD.
Senator Mulcahy noted that the 6,500 new education and training places are particularly focussed on giving jobseekers access to areas of the economy where there are opportunities.
He continued: “Under this initiative, a huge range of programmes will be provided by 36 education and training providers in the public and private sector. They will be spread right across the country, and will focus on the expanding employment areas of ICT, digital media, healthcare and social services, the green economy, food processing and sales and marketing. In Clare, there are a range of courses available in the areas of Employment Skills, Warehousing & Logistics and Healthcare Support.”
Senator Mulcahy said the courses will be specifically tailored to meet the needs of the long-term unemployed, using international best practice to suit the Irish context. For younger jobseekers, a range of activation projects will also be available for those aged under 25 to help them get into the workforce.
“As a Government, we are determined to get people back to work. We have already seen some progress in terms of employment figures; the number of people on the Live Register has fallen by more than 12,000 over the last year. Private sector employment is growing for the first time in four years, with thousands of jobs being created in the exporting sectors and in IDA-supported companies. We need to ensure our workforce has the right skills to maximise these emerging opportunities,” stated the Senator.
“Helping unemployed people access high quality and economically relevant training opportunities will help to turn around our jobs market. MOMENTUM places an emphasis on strong labour market opportunities including significant work placement as an integrated part of courses. Funding will only be provided for courses that supply needed skills, ensuring people are getting the training they need to get back to work,” he concluded.
MOMENTUM is administered by FÁS and funded by the Department of Education & Skills through the ESF (European Social Fund) supported Labour Market Education & Training Fund (LMETF). Courses are free, full and part-time and are aligned to levels 3 to 6 on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) or to an industry required certification within the sector. The projects range in duration from 11 to 45 weeks.
Further information on MOMENTUM, its projects and providers and eligibility criteria can be found on the website: www.momentumskills.ie or from the any Employment Services Office.