Skills Connect to give 200 people a ‘Future in Tech’

The Technology Ireland ICT Skillnet Future in Tech programme aims to help workers severely impacted by the pandemic to rapidly reskill and secure new roles within their sector or take innovative conversion courses to access job opportunities in new sectors.

The programme covers several key professional areas in tech: IT technical support, IT networking, cloud practitioner, digital marketing professional, cybersecurity analyst, software developer and web developer.

As well as training, candidates will be supported from mentors within the tech sector and will be given vital career support to find roles including job search support, CV development and honing their interview skills.

“The demand and growth in digital and technology skills requirements is accelerating faster than planned”

Covid-19 has had an impact on a myriad of sectors, but yet the tech industry continues to grow and is eager to hire skilled talent.

The future can be bright

The changing nature of professional qualifications sought within the sector lends itself to people who can rapidly reskill to meet areas of acute need.

“The demand and growth in digital and technology skills requirements is accelerating faster than planned,” said Dejan Cusic, Business Director Ireland, Comtrade Digital Services.

“New programmes, especially ones like the ‘Future in Tech’ that are industry led, industry mentored and industry certified, provide a new pipeline of talented individuals who are immediately employable. This programme provides a unique opportunity for individuals to consider a career in technology, affording them extensive employment options across all sectors.”

Dave Feenan, network manager with the Technology Ireland ICT Skillnet, explained that the programme will cater for more than 200 people, with a maximum capacity of 250 people.

He said that there will be at least 25 places on each of the seven pathways.

The new programmes represent the opening salvo of a whole range of supports aimed at supporting those impacted by Covid-19 to help them develop new skills for areas with greater employment opportunity.

In all 24 Skillnet Networks will deliver the first phase of Skills Connect, designing programmes to support those impacted by Covid-19 to develop new skills for areas with greater employment potential. These include; technology, agri-food, medtech, cyber security, energy efficiency and retrofitting, customer Experience (CX) and many more. Skills Connect will yield excellent results by helping workers that have been severely impacted by this crisis.

“We have already received hundreds of applications and as well as training to give them skills the ICT industry needs right now, we will help them with the right soft skills to land those roles and it’s all free,” explained Feenan.

“Ideally if you are in receipt of DSP payments and you have the capability to pivot your career within six-to-nine months all through online learning, then this could be a game-changer.

“The qualifications they will gain from this will be a fast-track into the IT industry. Having the right qualifications in cybersecurity could set you up for a job for life in this new world we’re in.”

Feenan said the intention is to have at least 200 people who will be chosen after selection and required aptitude tests and technology capability (minimum broadband and tech facilities) ready to start their courses by the end of November.

He explained that the war for talent and the need to move faster to pivot within careers means that companies are interested in people who with the right aptitude can undertake six-to-12 month training programmes to meet particular needs.

“Yes, the industry needs its graduates, people with Master’s and people with PhDs, but crucially it requires qualifications and certification in certain areas and in many cases these people could jump ahead of the graduate pipeline to secure jobs and enjoy a great future in tech.”

By John Kennedy (

Published: 16 October, 2020