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Skills for Better Business Courses and Contacts


On this page we have provided information about all the main providers of management education and training in Ireland. To help you navigate the range of providers and provider groups more easily, we have included a brief description of each organisation or group of organisations, along with the kinds of courses they provide. In each case, you will be able to find a contact person who will give you further advice about the courses that are right for you. 

If you are an SME owner or manager and you have not yet taken advantage of our management skills self-assessment tool, you can do so by visiting skillsforbetterbusiness.gov.ie. Once you have completed the questionnaire, which should take about 10 minutes, you will get a report indicating the areas of management development you may want to work on first.

Agencies included in the listings

You will also find a:

Regional Skills Fora

The Regional Skills Fora works with companies on a 1-1 and group basis to identify skills and upskilling needs. They help companies access existing upskilling and training supports and advise on government funded programmes. They also work to co-develop new skills and upskilling programmes to address industry reported skills needs.

Who they can help: Regional Skills help employers connect with the range of services and supports. The online portal gov.ie/therightcourse is a one stop shop for businesses, employees or unemployed.

Qualifications granted: Regional Skills don’t provide training but the Regional Skills Forum Manager can assist companies in accessing the full suite of government funded programmes available in each region. 

Contact: There is a full listing on regionalskills.ie/contact-us/ of the nine Regional Skills Fora located across Ireland. Contact details for each Regional Skills Forum Manager, as well as the Skills Policy and Enterprise Engagement Unit of the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research Innovation and Science, can be found on gov.ie/dfheris.

Education and Training Boards

Education and Training Boards (ETBs) are statutory education authorities. They manage and operate Community National Schools, Post-Primary Schools, Further Education (FE) colleges, Training Centres and a range of adult and community education centres delivering programmes for learners, communities and industry.

Who they can help: ETBs have a selection of courses for both staff and owner managers. They also devise and deliver bespoke programmes for specific learner groups or industry.

Qualifications granted: ETBs offer a wide range of certified and uncertified programmes. They deliver programmes from Levels 1-6 on the National Framework of Qualifications. ETBs sometime co-deliver Level 7 and 8 programmes.

Course format: ETBs deliver a broad range of programmes in many formats, including full time, part time, evening, weekend, online, on-site, classroom based, blended learning.

Training costs: The majority of programmes are free of charge or very low.

Contact: On etbi.ie you will find a listing of the 16 ETBs and their contact details.

Enterprise Ireland

Enterprise Ireland (EI) is the government organisation responsible for the development and growth of Irish enterprises in world markets. Their Leadership and Scaling Department helps to address the learning needs of clients through a suite of tailored leadership and management development programmes and mentorship support.

Who they can help: EI clients looking for strategic programmes that create transformational business change. They also offer flexible short programmes addressing short term business issues. Information on all programmes is available on eilearn.ie.

Course format: EI programmes range from 1-day workshops to 10-month transformational programmes. Programmes are delivered online, on-site, classroom based, blended learning, one to one consultation’s.

Training costs: Programme range from €300 to €27,000.

Contact: Enterprise Ireland programmes are available to EI clients nationwide. Programme Manager direct contact information is available on eilearn.ie. For general enquires contact eienquiries@enterprise-ireland.com

Higher Education Authority

The Higher Education Authority (HEA) leads the strategic development of the Irish higher education and research system. 

Who they can help: The HEA does not provide courses but has a statutory responsibility for the effective governance and regulation of higher education institutions and the higher education system.

Qualifications granted: Levels 6-10 on the NFQ.

Course format: Courses range from 2-4 years full-time at undergraduate level (6-8 NFQ) and can range from 1-4 years at full-time postgraduate level (8-10 NFQ). All courses are listed on cao.ie.

Training costs: Full-time undergraduate students pay a registration fee of €3,000 per annum. Postgraduate courses range in cost. Springboard+ and HCI Pillar 1 courses are free to those in receipt of a social welfare payment. A 10% fee applies for those in employment, which is circa €250-€500.

Contact: Email skills@hea.ie for further information.

Higher Education Colleges Association

The Higher Education Colleges Association (HECA) has represented Ireland’s leading private higher education institutions for over 30 years, they offer high-quality, flexible and innovative programmes.

Who they can help: HECA HEIs offer QQI validated programmes across a very diverse range of disciplines, with a strong focus on professional and industry orientated programmes.

Qualifications granted: HECA HEIs provided over 370 programmes between levels 6 and 10 on the NFQ.

Course format: Programmes are delivered on-site, online, blended learning, hybrid, multi-modal combining online and on demand. Courses are also available in full time and part time, including evenings and weekends. Many programmes have a robust professional and work-based learning/placement emphasis. Programmes range from 4 weeks to 4 years. Information on courses can be found on cao.ie.

Training costs: They have a wide variety of courses ranging from €200 up to €14,000 per programme depending on the programme.

Contact: Contact details are available on the individual HECA member websites – see links in our list of Higher Education Colleges.


The Irish Universities Association (IUA) is the representative body for Irish universities. Our member universities, offering internationally recognised top-quality education, are Dublin City University, Maynooth University, University of Galway, Trinity College Dublin, TU Dublin, University College Cork, University College Dublin and University of Limerick.

Who they can help: Irish universities offer a broad range of fully accredited courses at undergraduate and postgraduate levels across all disciplines. These include many upskilling / reskilling related lifelong learning courses, across professional studies, CPD, executive education, adult learning and so on. University courses are informed by cutting edge research, much of which is done in collaboration with industry.

Qualifications granted: Irish university courses range from micro-credentials to Bachelor, Masters and Doctoral degrees, leading to qualifications typically at NFQ Levels 7-10, with some at Level 6. Some courses offer accreditation by professional bodies.

Course format: Duration varies according to the course – from short and flexible learning experiences like micro-credentials; to taught postgraduate courses, many of which are 1-year and delivered on a flexible basis, designed for working professionals; to 3/4-year Bachelor, 1/2-year Masters and typically 4-year Doctoral degrees – delivered in a wide range of modes and formats, including full-time, part-time, face-to-face, online, blended, and apprenticeship/ earn-and-learn delivery. Details are available on cao.ie and the universities’ websites.

Training costs: Fees are available on the universities’ websites which are linked in our our list of Universities.

Contact: Contact details are available on the universities’ websites – see links in our list of Universities.   

Local Enterprise Offices

The Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) provide training programmes, mentoring and business development initiatives. LEOs operate an Information Centre where Business Advisors can help identify the most appropriate supports and training.

Who they can help: LEOs can help anyone exploring self-employment or those who are currently operating a business.

Qualifications granted: All courses are non-certified.

Course format: Duration and format vary depending on programme.

Training costs: All training is heavily subsidised; costs range from free to €500.

Contact: There are 31 Local Enterprise Offices located across Ireland – find your Local Enterprise Office.

Skillnet Ireland

Skillnet Ireland is a business support agency of the Government of Ireland. Skillnet Ireland offers high-quality, flexible and innovative talent development and upskilling programmes, designed in partnership with enterprise to meet real business needs.

 Who they can help: Skillnet Ireland offers a diverse range of management and leadership development programmes through its 72 Skillnet Business Networks nationwide, across all sectors and regions. Small to medium-sized businesses can also avail of expert mentoring and a range of management development supports through Skillnet Ireland initiatives such as MentorsWork and The Innovation Exchange.

Qualifications granted: Accredited programmes range from micro-credentials to Bachelor, Masters and Doctoral degrees, leading to qualifications typically at NFQ Levels 6-10. Other programmes available offer accreditation via professional bodies. Skillnet Business Networks also offer a range of non-accredited programmes.

Course format: Programme duration and format may vary. Programmes range from short and flexible learning experiences, to taught postgraduate courses, to on-the-job technical training. Training programmes are delivered in a wide range of formats to suit the needs of business.

Training costs: All programmes offered by Skillnet Business Networks are subsidised, to ensure affordability for businesses of all sizes and range from fully-funded to partially-funded. 

Contact: Please find a full listing of the 72 Skillnet Business Networks on skillnetireland.ie/think-talent, as well as information on other management development supports from Skillnet Ireland.


SOLAS provide high-quality, learner focused, education and training programmes. They deliver over 300,000 Further Education and Training places annually. They also manage the delivery of some national programmes including Apprenticeship, Skills to Advance and eCollege. More information is available at solas.ie.

Who they can help: SOLAS through Skills to Advance offers a broad range of management and leadership development programmes for both employees and employers in SMEs. These are delivered by the 16 Education and Training Boards (ETBs) across the country and are available to all sectors.

Qualifications granted: Accredited programmes and micro-qualifications at Level 5-6 are on offer through Skills to Advance.

Course format: Training is available locally from ETBs and is provided in person, online with tutor support, and/ or in a blended format. Training delivery schedules are flexible to suit both business and employee requirements.

Training costs: Highly subsidised training programmes are available through Skills to Advance.

Contact: Contact the Skills to Advance Co-ordinator in your local ETB to find out more or visit skillstoadvance.ie.

Technological Higher Education Association

The Technological Higher Education Association (THEA) is the representative body for the technological higher education sector in Ireland, which is made up of institutes of technology and emerging technological universities.

Who they can help: THEA’s member institutions offer a broad range of courses which are open to students from all backgrounds.

Qualifications granted: Most courses lead to qualification at Level 6-Level 10 of the NFQ. Some courses offer accreditation by professional bodies. Some courses offer particular skills without formal certification.

Course format: Undergraduate and Postgraduate courses in both full and part time range from 2-4 years. There are many teaching and learning formats, including traditional face-to-face, online and blended. Most courses have a strong practical element and also include work placements. They also offer a wide range of Lifelong Learning, Upskilling and Apprenticeships. All courses are listed on cao.ie.

Training costs: Fee schedules available on thea.ie.

Contact: Contact details are available on the individual THEA member websites – see links in our list of Institutes of Technology and Technological Universities.