Letterkenny based training company the Swilly Group has secured Government funding for 200 training places at various locations in the North West.
The Swilly Group will be offering fully funded training programmes in Healthcare Support, Computer Networking and Maintenance and Exporting and Transport Management starting in early 2013.
Swilly Group are the only Donegal based approved provider and have had three proposed courses accepted. Over 200 of the places on these courses are ringfenced for the North West with courses scheduled to run in Buncrana, Letterkenny, Ballybofey and Sligo.
The Labour Market Education and Training Fund, now called Momentum, was formally launched today in Dublin by An Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore and the Minister for Education and Skills Ruairi Quinn.
Momentum is a training fund set up by Irish Government to provide innovative training to the long term unemployed. All Momentum courses will be free to the learners who attend them. Momentum will be managed by SOLAS and has a total value in excess €20million.
A competitive tendering process was run by SOLAS in 2012 calling for proposals to run innovative training programmes for persons who are long term unemployed. The Swilly Group consulted widely with local employers during the tendering stage and was successful with their proposals to run programmes in Healthcare Support, Computer Networking and Maintenance and Export & Transport Management. All 3 programmes involve FETAC accreditation and an extended period of supervised work experience. Courses will be run at various locations throughout the Country with 200 places being ring fenced for locations in the North West.
Of over 300 course submissions less than 30% were actually approved for funding. Being the only Momentum Approved Provider based in Donegal, it was key for the Swilly Group that a large proportion of the places on their courses be based in the North West.
Swilly Group Managing Director Brian Sweeney said, “We are delighted to secure this funding for the North West in what was a very competitive tendering process.” “We will be running 12 courses in total, nine in which will be Donegal”. “Our success has been partly due to the fact that we engaged with local employers during the tendering stage and built the programmes to meet their specific needs”. “Furthermore, each of our courses involves an extended period of work placement, which gives the learner an opportunity to demonstrate to an employer that they can add value to their organisation”.
Dinny McGinley, T.D. Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Heritage & Gaeltacht Affairs has today welcomed the announcement that free educating and training places are being provided for up 6,500 people who are long-term unemployed nationwide.
“Creating job opportunities, particularly for the long-term unemployed, is a key aim for this Government. We are completely rebuilding what was a broken economy, and a crucial part of this process is ensuring that our workforce has the right skills to meet the challenges of tomorrow. These 6,500 new education and training places are particularly focussed on giving jobseekers access to areas of the economy where there are opportunities,” he said.
“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. A significant number of these courses will be provided in the North West, including Donegal.
“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.
“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.”