News article

Coronavirus: Skills Focus Programme now fully funded to help local employers

6 May 2020


Skills Focus Programme will be fully funded until 31 March 2021 to help local employers upskill their staff in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic

Skills Focus is a skills development programme funded by the Department for the Economy (DfE) and delivered across Northern Ireland by the six further education colleges. It aims to help local businesses upskill their staff. The Skills Focus programme is available for SMEs with fewer than 250 employees. Businesses can now access free upskilling for their staff, including those who are furloughed.

Skills Focus: 100 per cent funded
Funding for the scheme had been at 75 per cent with businesses making up the other 25 per cent. The 25 per cent cost to businesses has now been removed, until 31 March 2021, to support companies throughout the pandemic. Courses, with accredited qualifications, are delivered by the local further education colleges across a range of areas including customer service, health and social care, leadership and tourism.

See further details on the Skills Focus Programme.

Fully funded postgraduate certificate in software development
In addition DfE are also making 100 fully funded places for a part-time postgraduate certificate (PgCert) in software development with Queen’s University Belfast. The part-time PgCert is open to those who have been furloughed, lost their job, economically inactive or are self-employed and lost their income because of the pandemic. Applicants must either hold a 2:2 degree in any non-computing subject or have appropriate work experience.

See further details on software development upskilling.


First published 6 May 2020