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Welcome to ICT Skills Help

In order to ensure that one of Ireland's most important resources, its labour force, is appropriately skilled a number of higher education providers are now offering a number of Level 8 Conversion Programmes which will provide graduates from other skills areas with the opportunity to up-skill or re-skill through a 1 year full time HDip Conversion Programme in core computing/programming skills.

This page contains help articles for the most popular activities a user can perform on ICT SKills. We also have a F.A.Q which will be updated frequently with the most popular questions we get from users. F.A.Q

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1 - How many ICT Skills courses can an applicant apply for?

The applicant may only apply for ONE course

2 - If I am unsuccessful in securing a place on the programme to which I apply, will there be any opportunity for me to submit an application for a place on another course?

If you are unsuccessful in securing a place on the programme of your choice, you may be able to reapply for a place on an alternate programme. If there are unfilled places at some institutions, we will seek to redirect applications to fill these and we may be able to assist you then.

3 - What kind of jobs are ICT Skills courses designed for?

ICT Skills courses offer a broad and dynamic range of skills encompassing software (applications, systems, middleware), IT services (data processing, outsourced IT services, and IT consulting), electronics and hardware, and communications services. In the 2013 round a number of data analytics options have also been included.

4 - Do ICT Skills courses offer a work placement?

Yes work placement is an important feature of all courses on the ICT Skills Programme. Duration of work placement can vary from between 3 months to 6 months depending on the course.

5 - Can I make an ICT Skills application directly to a participating college?

All applications must be made through the

6 - I have accepted an offer of an ICT Skills place but now have changed my mind. Can I re-apply?

If a participant has a change-of- mind after accepting a course offer s/he should immediately inform the relevant higher education provider. If other providers are still receiving applications for ICT Skills courses it may be possible for a participant to re-apply for another ICT Skills place.

7 - Is there a cost or registration fee for ICT Skills courses?

No course fees or charges are payable by participants on an ICT Skills course for the duration of time that they are unemployed. Participants may be required to pay for books or other course materials.

8 - When do ICT Skills courses start?

The start date for all ICT Skills courses is included in each course information page on the ICT Skills page. Most courses will be starting from mid-March 2013.

9 - The National Framework of Qualifications, or ‘NFQ’ is mentioned in the information on ICT Skills. What is this?

The National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) provides a way to compare qualifications, and to ensure that they are quality-assured and recognised at home and abroad. See the NFQ website for more information.

10 - Will there be any further opportunities in the future under the ICT Skills Programme?

The HEA will review the ICT Skills Programme, further to which additional places on courses in ICT skills may be advertised.

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1 - Clarification of Income Supports?

Participation in the programmes will not create an entitlement to receive any income support payment from the Department of Social Protection.

However, the Department of Social Protection (DSP) has confirmed that DSP clients who are at least nine months in receipt of jobseekers benefit or jobseekers allowance may be supported to undertake one of the programmes under a bespoke version of the Back to Education Allowance (BTEA). This will allow retention of income support while pursuing a full-time course of study. Eligible DSP customers who are accepted on a course should immediately contact their local social welfare office to complete a modified BTEA form called BTEA-ICT Skills Programme 2013, which will facilitate those who are entitled, to transfer to BTEA payment. The form can be downloaded from here. Participation on periods of work experience which are identified as an integral part of the course may also be pursued and supported under BTEA.

If you are in receipt of other forms of income support from DSP such as One Parent Family payment or an illness payment you should contact the relevant scheme area to confirm if you may retain your income support under the back to education allowance scheme while pursuing a course under this initiative. For example those in receipt of a Disability Allowance should contact the Disability allowance section.

If you are signing for social welfare credits you may be eligible to apply for the programme but you will not be eligible for a payment under the BTEA scheme.

2 - Do I have to be registered as unemployed in order to apply to the ICT Skills Programme?

No, applicants are not required to be unemployed: any suitably qualified individual may apply.

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1 - Am I eligible for an ICT Skills course?

The entry criteria for admission to courses funded through the HEA’s ICT Skills Programme is a matter for each participating higher education provider to determine. However it is imperative that participants are capable of attaining the requisite (NFQ level 8) proficiency in high-level ICT skills within one year. Relevant experiential learning may be accepted in lieu of academic qualifications.

2 - Can I make an ICT Skills Programme application if I have already participated in another government-funded training programme, such as the Springboard programme or a FÁS scheme?

Applicants who have completed a government-funded training programme, such as a Springboard or FÁS course, are eligible to apply to the ICT Skills Programme. However two such programmes cannot be pursued concurrently.

3 - I do not think that I would be successful in applying to the ICT Skills Programme because I do not have the requisite academic qualifications or relevant prior experiential learning. Are there any other up-skilling opportunities in Ireland at present?

The Springboard programme aims to help unemployed people to re-enter the labour market through up-skilling. There are no tuition fees for Springboard applicants, who must be in receipt of an eligible social welfare payment which they will be able to retain throughout their course. It is anticipated that a range of new Springboard courses will be announced shortly, further details of which will be available at

In addition, FÁS run the JobsBridge National Internship Scheme. (See Participants in the Springboard programme can avail of a JobsBridge placement concurrently.

If you have not participated in higher education previously, you may wish to consider a range of courses on offer around the country on an on-going basis. Full-time higher education courses can be viewed at, and information on further education courses is available at

Full information on student support is available at Also of interest may be Aontas’s Information Booklet on Choices of Training and Education for Adults in Ireland 2013. Aontas Booklet