The Skills to Advance initiative was launched in 2018. It targets vulnerable employees who need upskilling and reskilling at Level 5 and Level 6 on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ). The roll out of this new initiative by the Education and Training Boards (ETBs) in 2019 complements the Skills for Work programme which offers courses to low skilled workers leading to Level 3 and Level 4 NFQ awards.
Skills to Advance targets employees in lower skilled jobs who need to adapt to a changing work environment. It provides employees with flexible and accessible opportunities to advance in their working lives and careers, sustain employment and avoid displacement, or avail of emerging job opportunities. The initiative also supports small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) who need some assistance to develop their workforce.
The Skills to Advance budget for 2019 is €11 million, and it is planned that 5,000 participants will take part in Skills to Advance programmes by the end of 2019. The number of participants who have been trained in Skills to Advance programmes to date in 2019 is 3,095.