Department for the Economy employment and skills programmes and Careers Service

The Department provides and supports a number of training programmes aimed at both citizens and employers.

Citizen-facing programmes

Detailed information on employment and skills programmes is hosted on the nidirect website which you can access at the links below:

  • Skills to Succeed  - get the skills to succeed and change your world.
  • Training programmes - all current programmes for jobseekers
  • Apprenticeships (nidirect) - an apprenticeship could work for you whatever career you're in, or whatever stage of life you're at. More information can be found on nidirect.
  • Essential Skills (nidirect) - information on how to get help with your reading, writing and numbers
  • Foundation degrees - find out about the benefits of Foundation degrees and how to apply
  • Bridge to Employment for jobseekers (nidirect) - Bridge to Employment is a pre-employment training programme that helps those unemployed and 18 and over to find a job, whatever their experience of work.
  • Steps 2 Success (nidirect) - Steps 2 Success is an employment programme to help you build the skills and experience you need to find and keep a job.
  • Training for Success (nidirect) - Training for Success is designed for young people aged 16-17 (up to 24 years for those requiring additional support).
  • Youth Employment Scheme - 18-24 and unemployed? Get the experience you need to get ahead.
  • Bring IT On - delivered by Belfast Met, the programme's aim is to encourage and educate young people about the career pathways into the IT industry.


  • Study USA - Study USA is an innovative programme which offers undergraduate students studying in Northern Ireland an opportunity to study business for one year at a college in the USA.


Detailed information for employers is hosted on the website and is accessible from the links below.

  • Skills to Succeed - get the skills to help your staff and business succeed.
  • Training and development programmes - current programmes to assist employers in training and recruitment of their staff.
  • Apprenticeships (including Higher Level Apprenticeships) - find out about support available if you employ an apprentice
  • Assured Skills - delivering skilled employees through bespoke training programmes
  • Bridge to Employment - an employer led recruitment programme offering customised pre-employment training 
  • Entry to Management programme -  an initiative designed to speed the development of graduate managers
  • Essential Skills Information for Employers - if you are an employer who is interested in offering learning opportunities within the workplace or at your local Further Education College, you can find the information on what to do next.
  • Foundation degrees - find out how employers can be fully involved in the design, development and delivery of these degrees 
  • InnovateUS - the programme is designed to encourage and promote opportunities for small businesses and FE colleges to work together. The focus of the programme is to enable small businesses, with fewer than 50 employees, to acquire the skills necessary to engage in innovation activities.
  • Skills Focus - the aim of Skills focus is to provide tailored skills provision to small to medium enterprises with less than 250 employees. The purpose of Skills Focus is to meet business needs by increasing the skills levels and employability of the existing workforce to qualification level 2 and above.

You may also be interested in the following publications:

Careers Service

The Careers Service provides an impartial, all-age careers information, advice and guidance service, to help young people, parents and adults make informed choices about their future career paths.

Professionally qualified careers advisers are based in Careers Resource Centres, Jobs and Benefits Offices and JobCentres throughout Northern Ireland.

Careers Service information, advice and interactive careers tools are on nidirect.

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