STATEMENT BY TÁNAISTE JOAN BURTON AND MINISTER JAN O’SULLIVAN

Wednesday, 24th September 2014

JOBSEEKERS OFFERED 6,500 TRAINING AND EDUCATION PLACES UNDER MOMENTUM 2014 - BURTON

 

Tánaiste Joan Burton, TD, and the Minister for Education and Skills, Jan O’Sullivan TD today launched the 2014 MOMENTUM programme.  MOMENTUM is an innovative Government initiative which provides free education and training projects for up to 6,500 long-term jobseekers.

It aims to assist unemployed jobseekers to gain in-demand skills and to access work in sectors of the economy where there are job opportunities. The programmes will include on-the job training in the form of work experience modules as well as the provision of accredited further education and training required to obtain and retain employment. One third of all places have been ring-fenced for the under 25’s. This forms part of the Government’s Pathways to Work and the Action Plan for Jobs strategies.

25 education and training providers from both the private, public and not-for-profit sectors will be offering 55 individual MOMENTUM projects in over (250) individual courses across the country. These projects will be in the expanding employment areas such as ICT, tourism and hospitality, transport, distribution and logistics. Recruitment for courses commenced recently and almost 1,000 jobseekers are already wait listed for courses.

Courses are free, full time and are aligned to levels 4 to 6 on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) or to an industry recognised certification within the sector. The projects range in duration from 23 weeks – 45 weeks. Eligible candidates can apply for courses via their local Department of Social Protection’s Intreo/Employment Services Offices.

This €20 million programme is funded through the National Training Fund. This is the second funding round for MOMENTUM which is an outcomes-based model of education and training that draws on national and international experience to optimise the programme in an Irish context.  The courses are tailored to the needs of the long-term job-seeker and also employers who require relevant skills to build their business.

MOMENTUM forms part of the recently launched ‘Skills to Work’ campaign which provides a new online tool that provides information on training and work experience initiatives to jobseekers and the supports for businesses to access skills training and incentives available to hire a new employee who is currently on the Live Register. The online tool focuses on Skillnets, Springboard, MOMENTUM, JobBridge, and JobsPlus.

Speaking at the SOLAS offices where the launch took place, An Tánaiste said: “The Government has made significant progress on the employment front, with an additional 75,000 people back at work since 2012 and the unemployment rate down from a crisis peak of 15.1% to 11.2% now. But that's still too high, which is why initiatives such as MOMENTUM are so crucial to help jobseekers get the skills they need to return to work”.

Announcing the 6,500 places today, Minister O’Sullivan said “This fantastic programme provides first-class training and education linked to quality work experience. Learners secure recognised qualifications, on-the-job know-how and, most importantly, a real competitive edge in sectors which are expanding. MOMENTUM has made a real difference in the lives of thousands of participants to date and this round builds on that experience and success.”

MOMENTUM is administered by SOLAS and funded through the National Training Fund. The payment system to providers is outcomes based with part payment reserved for key stages of the programme, including delivery and work placement, employment outcomes and progression at the end of the programme.

Further information on MOMENTUM, its projects and providers and eligibility criteria can be found on the website: www.momentumskills.ie or from any Intreo/Employment Services Office.