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Ministers Quinn and Burton unveil online tool at NCI, to help jobseekers and employers

“Skills to Work” will assist jobseekers and employers to avail of Government initiatives aimed at getting people back to work

National College of Ireland was delighted to welcome the Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn T.D., and the Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton T.D. to the college today, to unveil the Government’s new awareness raising programme for skills initiatives aimed at getting people back to work.

Skills to Work brings together key Government initiatives introduced since 2011 to support jobseekers access the training and work experience they need and to help and encourage businesses employ people currently on the Live Register. The main aim of “Skills to Work” is to make it easier for both jobseekers and employers to easily access information on the full range of options available to them.

An online tool has been developed,, which, through a series of simple questions:
• Directs jobseekers to information on what education, re-skilling or work experience options are available to them in areas of new and emerging employment opportunities.
• Directs employers to information on incentives available to hire a new employee who is currently on the Live Register, offer a work placement or access skills training.
• Provides information on additional opportunities and government supports available to help people get back to work and to help businesses grow.

The Skills to Work campaign promotes in particular five initiatives run by the Department of Education and Skills and Department of Social Protection: Springboard, Momentum, Skillnets, JobBridge and JobsPlus.

Some 77,200 jobseekers have gained valuable training, skills or work experience on these five initiatives since 2011. In the same period, 30,314 employers have accessed training via Skillnets and 1,611 businesses have hired a total of 2,115 previously long-term unemployed jobseekers through the JobsPlus wage subsidy scheme.

Speaking at the launch in the National College of Ireland today, Minister Quinn said, “While unemployment levels are continuing to fall and 61,000 people have returned to work over the past year, the biggest challenge still facing our country is unemployment. Getting people back to work and ensuring they earn a living wage is our priority.”

“This Government has introduced a range of initiatives to do just that – now with “Skills to Work” we are making it easier for jobseekers and employers to quickly find out what initiatives they qualify for, more information on those programmes and how to apply.”

Minister Burton added, “We have transformed our employment services to help jobseekers return to work, training and education and to help employers grow their business. Skills to Work is an excellent demonstration of the array of schemes and supports now available to both jobseekers and employers alike.

Through the Pathways to Work strategy introduced by the Government, unemployment has fallen from a crisis peak of 15.1% to 11.7% now. But we must build on that progress and Skills to Work will play an important role in that regard. I would encourage jobseekers and employers to visit the website and see how Skills to Work can benefit them.”

Alongside the new on-line tool, the “Skills to Work” team will meet directly with jobseekers and employers, largely through attending job fairs and roadshows around the country. There will also be an on-line advertising campaign to drive interested jobseekers and employers to the new website.

“Skills to Work” is part of Pathways to Work, the Government’s strategy to reduce unemployment. 
Also launching today is the Supporting SMEs Online Tool which, along with Skills To Work, is part of the Government’s priority for tackling unemployment and creating jobs. The Supporting SMEs Online Tool is a cross-governmental guide to help Irish start-ups and small businesses navigate the range of over 80 Government business supports that they could be eligible for.

Ministers Quinn and Burton unveil online tool at NCI, to help jobseekers and employers