What is Education, Training and Lifelong Learning?

“Education, Training and Lifelong Learning” is one of the investment areas targeted by European funding in Ireland. The goal of this investment is to support people in accessing education or training regardless of their stage in life. Two funds invest in this area: the European Social Fund and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.

The European Social Fund helps people access education, in order to gain the skills and qualifications they need to go on and find work.

Funding for Increasing Access to Education: 215.3 million euro from the Programme for Employability and 126.1 million euro from the Rural Development Programme.

Examples of Education, Training and Lifelong Learning

Back to Education Initiative training

Back to Education Initiative

European Social Fund

The Back to Education Initiative is aimed at people over 16 who are seeking to return to education with a special focus on people who did not gain the Leaving Certificate.

It offers part-time courses to allow attendees to balance education with family and work commitments.

Further information is available from your local Education and Training Board


a student assisted by Third Level Access funding

Third Level Access

European Social Fund

Third Level Access assists students from disadvantaged backgrounds and students with disabilities to access higher level education, through two funds:

  • Student Assistance Fund
  • Fund for Students with Disabilities

For more details on the funds and which colleges are involved, please visit studentfinance.ie.

a student assisted by Third Level Access funding

Adult Literacy Participant from Waterford Education and Training Board

Adult Literacy

European Social Fund

Adult Literacy allows people with reading and writing difficulties to gain access to literacy, language and numeracy education.

It provides a range of basic education programmes for adults, which may include: reading and writing, communication skills, applying numbers to everyday maths problems, and study skills.

Further information is available from your local Education and Training Board.

What do Adult Literacy participants say?

Returning to Education – a story of why one of our participants joined the course in Waterford and Wexford Education and Training Board

Quotation Marks

I had been playing with the idea for a long time until I found out I am going to be a daddy for the first time next March.

I’d love to be able to put my new baby to bed with a bed time story and not be afraid that I’d read it wrong. I have been told that the hardest part of being a dad is being a superhero. Now, what superhero do you know that can’t read or write in a child’s eyes?

I will try my hardest to be that superhero.

Quotation Marks

Which Funds invest in Education, Training and Lifelong Learning?

Each of the Funds below invests in Education, Training and Lifelong Learning. Click on these tiles to explore the other investments made by each Fund.