I’m unemployed – can education get me out of here?
Posted on August 03, 2011 at 12:25 PM
There's been a lot of focus recently on the issue of information, and how difficult it is to find the right person in the right place to give you the right information about education and training opportunities if you're unemployed. So here are eight useful resources if you're planning on taking the education route in the not too distant future.
- Not sure about what course to take? The Adult Education Guidance Initiative is a free service based in your local VEC. They will give you information about financial supports and courses in your area. Also, talking to a Guidance Counsellor might help you choose the course that is right for you. It's especially useful if you have been out of formal education for some time.
- Looking for a specific course in your area? Qualifax is a great place to start - hosting information about courses throughout the country, you can search by area, keywords and subject.
- Got a lot of work experience, but no qualifications?You may qualify for a place on the new Springboard Initiative, which includes a range of higher education courses at different third level institutions around the country. A lot of the courses are flexible and structured so that you can take up employment if the opportunity arises.
- On the other hand, do you have the qualifications but want some work experience.? Have a look at what's on offer through the new National Internship Scheme - Jobsbridge. You stay on your existing social welfare payment and get an additional €50 per week for the duration of the scheme.
- Confused about the qualifications on offer? Check out the National Framework of Qualifications. You can compare qualifications and make sure that they are recognised at home and abroad.
- Unemployed and not sure about what you're entitled to? The INOU has just published the 18th edition of 'Working for Work'. This edition includes a lot of really helpful information on redundancy, social welfare rates, training and education. Text the word BOOK to 51444 and they will contact you for your name and address and send you out a free copy of the book.
- Want to talk to a human being? Jobs Facilitators are based in local Social Welfare Offices and their role is to help you take up education and work experience opportunities.
- And if you want to find about student grants, the Back to Education Allowance and scholarships , Studentfinance is an excellent source of information on the financial supports available to you.
And remember -
- Timing is everything! CAO deadlines, grant application dates, closing dates for course registration all happen at fixed times of the year. Keep an eye on the dates so you don't miss out.
- Services such as the AEGI and Jobs Facilitators are experiencing high demand at the moment. You may have to wait to get an appointment to see someone, so plan ahead.
- One step at a time -you don't have to jump in at the deep end - why not try out an evening course and see how you get on? Some universities also offer study skills modules that can help meet the challenges of third level if that's the route you take.
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