My Department is conscious of the issues in the English language education sector arising from the Covid-19 outbreak and has established a Covid-19 Working Group for this sector. This group is comprised of representatives of relevant Government Departments and representatives of both students and English language education providers.
As part of the wider Covid-19 response, the Government has introduced a number of measures to support businesses at this time. These measures include a temporary wages subsidy scheme to facilitate employers to keep employees on the payroll throughout the COVID-19 pandemic in order to retain this link for when business increases after the crisis. This scheme is administered by the Revenue Commissioners and is available to providers in the English language education sector. Additionally for those staff in this sector who have lost their jobs because of the pandemic, they are eligible to apply for the Government’s Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment.
The Department has also published guidance for all students in this sector in multiple languages and has distributed it through the English language education providers to their students using relevant channels. This material provides guidance for these students in relation to health advice about Covid-19, measures taken in relation to their immigration status and information on available social protection supports.
The Department continues to engage with stakeholders on an ongoing basis to provide further support to students and providers in this sector.