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Government to spend €200 million on re-education and job incentives

Employers will be given incentives to hire apprentices and young, unemployed workers.

Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris earlier this week.
Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris earlier this week.

THOUSANDS OF EXTRA college and employment places have been announced by the government for those who find themselves out of work due to the pandemic. 

As part of the multi-billion euro July stimulus package announced yesterday, over €200 million will be allocated to higher education and employment supports. 

These measures are aimed at helping people return to the workplace or education after they may have lost jobs and income due to Covid-19. 

The Minister for Higher Education, Simon Harris, said the pandemic has had a “disproportionate effect on younger workers and those in lower paid occupations”. 

“A “once and done” approach to education and training is no longer enough. Upskilling, reskilling and refreshing of skills need to be supported throughout people’s working lives,” Harris said.  

“I am particularly excited about the Apprenticeship Recruitment Incentive. For the first time, we will financially incentivise employers to hire apprentices.”

Under this, employers will receive €2,000 straight away for each new apprentice hired. They will receive another €1,000 after one year if the apprentice is still employed. 

35,500 places will be added to the higher and further education sector as part of these measures. A further 45,500 new employment support places will also be established.

3,300 one-year postgrad courses will be made available in certain areas. Harris said these courses will be “at a cost of only 10% to the student”.  

Skillnet Ireland will offer supports such as aiding new digital skills, management training and a ‘climate action upskilling scheme’. 

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The JobsPlus subsidy scheme will also be enhanced to allow for subsidies of up to €7,500 over a two-year period for employers who hire an unemployed person aged under 30 years old.  

The Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys, said these plans should help people “secure a fresh start and rebuilt their lives”.

“It is important that we provide a comprehensive suite of measures to provide the necessary assistance and support to the thousands of individuals who through no fault of their own have become unemployed over the past four months,” the minister said in a statement.

“My aim and objective is to help as many of these people as possible to return to work, education or training.”

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