The Future in Tech Programmes represent a set of 8 skills pathways in technology, which aim to help jobseekers with no technical background to develop digital skills and access a wide range of opportunities in the sector. Created by Technology Ireland ICT Skillnet, with support from Skillnet Ireland (the National Agency for Workforce Learning), the Irish Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science and a variety of technology companies, the upskilling programmes target jobseekers and the unemployed, to enhance cross-sector employability and support workforce, who have lost their jobs.
Structure of the programme
The programme is part of Skillnet Ireland's Skills Connect initiative, which aims to facilitate the reskilling of workers and jobseekers most impacted by the COVID-19 health crisis, and support their re-entry back into the workforce. The initiative offers a set of upskilling and training solutions, designed in conjunction with industry representatives and companies in the private sector, in order to bridge the digital skills gap for displaced workers and increase employment.
The 8 skills pathways in the Future in Tech Programmes are tailored towards specialised aspects of technology and different career opportunities within the field, such as cybersecurity, software of data analytics. Candidates can only apply for one pathway from the following options:
- IT Technical Support Specialist
- IT Networking Specialist
- Cloud Practitioner
- Digital Marketing Professional
- Cybersecurity Analyst
- Software Developer
- Web Developer
- Data Analytics
The Future in Tech Programmes are conducted entirely online, led by instructors in virtual classrooms. Students also get the opportunity to collaborate on online projects with a real impact and benefit from a mentorship programme, which brings expert industry members to each group of students and increases networking and learning possibilities. In addition, each skills pathway includes a Career Support Service, which helps candidates with their search for job opportunities, provides CV development advice, and prepares candidates for interviews. No background digital skills or knowledge is required to participate in the programme, apart from the basic ability to navigate the internet, install basic software (when needed in some pathways) and adjust computer settings.
The programme's next intake is 21 June 2021. It is free for eligible applicants: candidates must be at least 18 years old and be unemployed. They also have to be Irish or citizens of the European Union or the European Economic Area (EU/EEA), and have to currently reside in the Republic of Ireland. To apply, candidates must fill in an application form (entirely online), complete a general, core course, select one of the skills pathways, and take an short online aptitude test. The training takes place over the course of 1 year in a part-time format and equips participants with transversal and digital skills, offering a progressive career path and a tailored personal development plan.