Training your staff

Skill Up programme: Retrain and upskill your staff

Guide

Skill Up is a Department for Economy programme, with funding from the Northern Ireland Office and the Department of Finance, which provides a range of free short training courses.

There are opportunities for businesses to retrain and upskill their staff by taking advantage of the range of free training courses on offer. The local further and higher education providers in Northern Ireland deliver the courses and most of the courses will be carried out online.

Opportunities are available from entry to postgraduate levels, focusing on skills identified by industry, linked to priority economic sectors, including:

  • digital skills
  • green technologies
  • healthcare and life sciences
  • advanced manufacturing
  • leadership and management

Courses available

Find out what courses are available from local colleges and universities below. For more information on specific courses, visit the provider’s website.

The Open University

Digital

  • Advanced Networking
  • AWS: Solutions architect (in collaboration with Amazon Web Services). Discover the fundamentals of building IT infrastructure to architect secure applications on AWS  technologies
  • Cisco: DevOps using DevNet: Upskill to adapt to the converging roles of coders and manage network systems with this Cisco endorsed course.  (Endorsed by Cisco Networking Academy)
  • Computing - Data Management
  • Computing - Information Security
  • Cyber Security Operations (Cisco). (Endorsed by Cisco Networking Academy
  • Data Management
  • Information Security
  • IT Systems: Planning for success
  • Network Security
  • Strategic Capabilities for Technological Innovation
  • Systems Thinking in Practice - Managing Change with systems thinking in practice
  • Technology & Innovation Management
  • Technology Management - Strategic Capabilities for Technological Innovation
  • Technology Management - Technological Innovation Management

Green Technologies

  • Climate Change: Transforming your Organisation for Sustainability

Health and Social Care

  • Introduction to Mental Health Service

Leadership and Management

  • Agile leadership and management (in collaboration with the Agile Business Consortium)
  • Business management: fundamentals of accounting
  • Business management: improving organisational design
  • Business Management: Marketing Principles and Practice
  • Business Management: Principles of Financial Statement Analysis
  • Effective Management in Business and Public Management
  • Global Development in Practice: Designing an Intervention
  • Leadership in a Changing World
  • Management Accounting and International Finance
  • Management of Change: Organisation Development and Design
  • Management of Uncertainty: Leadership, Decisions and Action
  • Managing in a Changing World
  • Strategic Management
  • Supply Chain Management

Other

  • Creating Futures: Sustainable Enterprise and Innovation
  • Entrepreneurship in Context
  • Teacher development: Embedding mental health in the curriculum. - endorsed by the Mental Health Foundation

Further information and details on how to apply to the Open University Skill Up courses.

Queen’s University Belfast

Digital

  • Applied Cyber Security
  • Audiovisual Post-production
  • Data Analytics and Decision Making
  • Digital Transformation Toolbox
  • Innovation Leadership
  • Leading Digital Marketing
  • PG Diploma for those completing Software Development PgCert
  • Software Development
  • Strategic Change Leadership for Digital Transformation

Green Technologies

  • Hydrogen Energy Systems
  • Zero Carbon Engineering
  • Zero Carbon Engineering for those completing PgCert in Zero Carbon Engineering or Hydrogen Energy Systems

Manufacturing and Engineering

  • Advanced Manufacturing Leadership
  • Mechanical Engineering with Management

Health and Social care

  • Graduate Psychologist Mental Health Practitioner

Life and Health Sciences

  • Biostatistics and Bioinformatics

Leadership and Management

  • Mini MBA
  • Operations and Supply Chain Management

Further information and details on how to apply for Queen's University Skill Up courses.

Ulster University

Digital

  • Advanced Cert in Management & Practice Transformational Management in a Digital World
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Computer Science
  • Data Engineering
  • Data Science
  • Design, Research and Development (Animation)
  • Professional Software Development

Green Technologies

  • Energy Management and Green Technology
  • Hydrogen Safety

Life and Health Sciences

  • Coding Skills for Biologists
  • Environmental Management
  • Environmental Toxicology and Pollution Monitoring
  • Machine Learning
  • Molecular and Pharmaceutical Analysis
  • Pharmaceutical Analysis

Engineering and Manufacturing

  • Advanced Composites and Polymers
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Manufacturing Management
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Smart Manufacturing Systems

Leadership and Management

  • Enabling Business Recovery
  • Executive Leadership

Other

  • Business Sustainability and Innovation
  • Managing and Leading People
  • Strategic Marketing

Further information and details on how to apply to the Ulster University Skill Up courses.

Belfast Metropolitan College

Digital

  • BTEC Level 3 in Production
  • CIM Level 4 Award in Digital Marketing Techniques
  • Level 2 Award In 2D Computer Aided Design
  • MOS Excel
  • MOS Powerpoint
  • MOS Word
  • OCN Level 2 Award in Digital Construction
  • OCN Level 2 Award in Digital Marketing
  • OCN Level 2 Award in Digital Skills within Construction
  • OCN Level 3 Award in Digital Construction with BIM

Health and Social Care

  • CACHE Level 2 Introductory Awareness of Autistic Spectrum Conditions 
  • CACHE Level 3 Support Individuals with Autistic Conditions
  • NCFE CACHE Level 3 Award for Special Educational Needs Coordinators in Early Years Settings 
  • NOCN Level 2 Award in Meeting the Needs of Learners with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder 
  • OCN Level 2 Award in Managing Challenging Behaviour in Children and Young People 
  • OCN Level 2 Award in Mental Health Awareness 
  • OCN NI Level 2 Award in Early Years Learning, Care and Development
  • OCN NI Level 2 Award in Introduction to Mindfulness and Reducing Anxiety in Children

Further information and details on how to apply to the Belfast Met Skill Up courses.

Leadership and Management

  • ILM Level 3 Award in Leadership and Management 
  • ILM Level 5 Certificate in Leadership and Management

Northern Regional College

Digital

  • Digital Marketing
  • Digital Prototype Design and Manufacture
  • Social Media
  • Social Media and Digital Marketing

Green Technologies

  • Hybrid Electrical Vehicle Maintenance
  • Hybrid Electrical Vehicle Repair
  • Hydrogen Fuel Cell Technology

Health and Social Care

  • Award in Health and Social Care
  • Award in Infant and Child Mental Health and its Impact on Social and Emotional Development
  • Award in Understanding Protection and Safeguarding
  • Awareness of Dementia
  • Awareness of Mental Health and Wellbeing
  • Meeting the Needs of Learners with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in the Mainstream Classroom
  • Mindfulness and Reducing Anxiety in Children
  • Working with Children and Young People with Special Needs

Leadership and Management

  • Management and Leadership Principles of Innovation
  • Principles of management and Leadership Managing a team to achieve results
  • Principles of management and Leadership supporting the delivery of customer service

Trade, Export and Logistics

  • Global Logistics
  • Green Logistics
  • Inventory Management
  • Logistics and Transport

Other

  • Business Development Skills

Further information and details on how to apply to the Northern Regional College's Skill Up courses

North West Regional College

Digital

  • C&G Level 1 & 2 Computerised Accounts
  • C&G Level 1 Manual Bookkeeping & Accounts
  • Cisco Scaling Networks (Cybersecurity)
  • Digital Marketing Level 2
  • Digital Marketing Level 4
  • Extended Cert in IT (Strabane)
  • Foundation Certificate in Software Testing
  • Kick-start IT Programme (Strabane)
  • OCN Level 2 Award in Digital Fabrication
  • OCN Level 3 Award in Digital Fabrication
  • OCN NI Exploring Social Media
  • OCN NI Spreadsheet Software
  • OCN NI Website Software
  • Software Testing

Green Technologies

  • Advanced Driver Assistance Systems
  • Electric Vehicle Level 2
  • Electric Vehicle Level 3
  • Recycling and Waste Management

Health and Social care

  • Awareness of End of Life Care
  • Dementia Awareness
  • OCN NI Mental Health Awareness
  • Phlebotomy (Award)
  • Tackling Substance Misuse

Engineering and Manufacturing

  • Welding – Level 2

Leadership and Management

  • CIPD L3
  • CIPD L5
  • ILM Level 3
  • ILM Level 5
  • International Transport and Documentation (Level 3 Certificate in International Trade)

Other

  • Business Development Skills

Further information and details on how to apply to the North West Regional College's Skill Up courses.

South Eastern Regional College

Digital

  • Cyber Security Infrastructure Pathway
  • Ethical Hacking
  • Level 2 Award Computerised Accounts
  • Level 2 Award in Social Media
  • Level 3 Award Computerised Accounts
  • Level 4 Digital Marketing
  • Mango SQL Training
  • Software Testers
  • Version 1 - Cloud/Dev Ops
  • Version 1 - Software Development

Green Technologies

  • Electric Vehicle Charging Equipment
  • Electrical Energy Storage Systems
  • Installation and Maintenance of Air Source Heat Pumps
  • Intro to Zero Carbon
  • Level 3 Hybrid
  • Level 4 Hybrid
  • Managed Learning Programme Electric Vehicle Charging
  • Managed Learning Programme Gas
  • Managed Learning Programme Introduction to Green Technologies
  • Retrofitting
  • Solar PV

Health and Social Care

  • Level 2 Health and Social Care

Engineering and Manufacturing

  • PLC Programming

Leadership and Management

  • CMI Level 3 Award in Leadership & Management - Principles of Leadership & Management
  • CMI Level 3 Award in Principles of Communication
  • CMI Level 3 Award in Project Management
  • CMI Level 3 Award Managing a Team to Achieve Results
  • CMI Level 3 Award Monitoring Quality to Improve Outcomes
  • CMI Level 5 Award in Creating and Delivering Operational Plans
  • CMI Level 5 Award in Leadership
  • CMI Level 5 Award in Managing Quality and Continuous Improvement
  • CMI Level 5 Leadership & Management
  • Train the Trainer

Trade, Export & Logistics

  • Trade & Export - Introduction to International Trade Management
  • Trade & Export - Transportation and Documentation

Other

  • Level 2 Award in Innovation and Enterprise in Practice

Further information and details on how to apply to the South Eastern Regional College's Skill Up courses. Graduate programmes are also available:

Southern Regional College

Digital

  • Digital Marketing and Social Media
  • Microsoft Technology Associate Azure Fundamentals
  • Microsoft Technology Associate Security Fundamentals
  • Microsoft Technology Associate Software Development Fundamentals
  • Microsoft Technology Associate Python Programming 
  • OCN Level 2 Digital Fabrication (Laser Cutting)
  • OCN Level 2 Introduction to Cyber Security (Blended) (2 cohorts)
  • OCN Level 4 Cyber Security
  • Unit: Cloud Computing
  • Unit: Data Analytics
  • Unit: Internet of Things
  • Unit: Networking
  • Unit: Programming
  • Unit: Virtual and Augmented Reality Development

Green Technologies

  • Electric Vehicle Charging Equipment Installation
  • Electric/Hybrid Vehicle Routine Maintenance Activities Level 2 Award
  • Electric/Hybrid Vehicle System Repair and Replacement Level 3 Award

Engineering and Manufacturing

  • Manufacturing Computer Numerical Control Machining Processes
  • Pneumatic and Hydraulic Systems
  • Programmable Logistics Controllers

Health and Social Care

  • Introduction To Counselling Skills 
  • Introductory Awareness of Autistic Spectrum Conditions
  • Managing Challenging Behaviour in Children and Young Adults
  • Mindfulness in children and young people
  • Understanding how to Support Individuals with Autistic Spectrum
  • Working With Children and Young People with Special Needs Level 3 Unit

Life and Health Sciences

  • Certificate in Laboratory Techniques 

Leadership and Management

  • Award in Leadership and Management Level 3
  • Award in Leadership and Management Level 5
  •  Award in Leadership and Management (Effective Coaching and Mentoring)
  • Award in Leadership and Management (Event and Project Management)
  • Award in Leadership and Management (Top Up to Diploma)
  • Award in Leadership and Management (Innovation and Change Management)

Trade, Export & Logistics

  • Certificate in Logistics Operations

Further information and details on how to apply to the Southern Regional College's Skill Up courses.

South West College

Digital

  • MTA Networking Fundamentals
  • Social Media and Digital Marketing

Engineering, Manufacturing and Construction

  • Assembling and Testing Fluid Systems
  • Autocad 2D
  • Ensuring Air Tightness in Domestic Retrofit Project
  • Installation of External Wall Insulation for Domestic Retrofit
  • Installation Requirements for Heat Recovery Mechanical Ventilation Systems in Domestic

Retrofit Projects

  • NOCN Bim/Revit
  • Retrofit
  • Understanding the Maintain and repair of pre 1919 Buildings
  • Welding

Health and Social Care

  • Introduction to Mindfulness and reducing Anxiety in Children
  • Managing Challenging Behaviours in Children
  • Working with Children and Young People with Special Needs

Leadership and Management

  • Construction in Leadership and Management
  • Leadership and Management Level 3
  • Leadership and Management Level 5
  • Workplace Mentoring- Understanding good practice in manufacturing

Further information and details on how to apply to the South West College's Skill Up courses.

Graduate placement and women returners

The Department for the Economy is also supporting a range of bespoke schemes to support graduate placements and women returners, through a mixture of online training, provided by one of the six Further Education Colleges or Ulster University, with a placement at an employer to support growth, development and recovery.

Further information will be made available by providers. Opportunities are available across a number of areas, including:

  • women returners for the ICT Sector (Belfast Metropolitan College)
  • women returners for the Logistics Sector – Business Administration - Southern Regional College
  • Graduate Leadership (Ulster University)
  • Graduate Future Leaders – Entry into Management( Belfast Metropolitan College, Northern Regional College, North West Regional College, South Eastern Regional College, Southern Regional College, South West College)
  • Graduate Digital Futures – Data Analytics (North West Regional College, South Eastern Regional College, Southern Regional College)
  • Graduate Digital Futures – Cyber Security (South West College, Northern Regional College)
  • Graduate Digital Futures – Cloud Computing (Belfast Metropolitan College)
  • Graduate Digital Marketing ( Belfast Metropolitan College, Northern Regional College, North West Regional College, South Eastern Regional College, Southern Regional College, South West College)

Find further information on the Skill Up programme.