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Over 300 people have benefitted from free online business related courses delivered by Ulster University Business School (UUBS), as the university plays its part in helping individuals gain in-demand skills and knowledge essential to the future workplace and economy.

The innovative business courses are part of a Skills Intervention Programme funded by the Department for the Economy which aims to provide short-term upskilling and retraining opportunities to individuals who have been impacted by Covid-19 – including those who have been furloughed, made redundant or lost their jobs.

Specifically aligned with future workforce needs, the range of industry-relevant programmes and modules offered by UUBS were carefully chosen to help participants gain commercially relevant skills and qualifications to enhance future career prospects and employment opportunities in sectors requiring highly skilled employees to bridge skills gaps.

Now in its third phase since commencing in September 2020, the programmes are proving to be truly impactful, affording genuine opportunities for career development, creating alternative career paths for learners and addressing emerging skills requirements in developing sectors. Many individuals reported the course teachings have helped them to successfully secure new jobs, implement new initiatives within their current roles and start new enterprises.

After finding her work circumstances disrupted by the pandemic, Emer Maguire, an Events Professional, took advantage of the Postgraduate Certificate in Professional Development (Enabling Business Recovery) course, which inspired her to explore a more viable business model.

Commenting on her experience, Emer said:

“I'm self-employed and during the pandemic a lot of my work was cancelled. This course allowed me to focus on business and getting my work back on track. I work in events and performing so I never really thought about the "business". But this course gave me a passion for business and uncovered a talent for business that I never knew I had. It has inspired me to change my current business model into something suitable for the online work, which has been much more profitable than my work pre-pandemic. And I had the confidence and information to do something new because of the course.”

All courses are part-time, accredited, taught fully online and delivered by highly experienced faculty teams - the flexible nature allows for learners to fit the programme around family and work commitments.

Professor Gillian Armstrong, Director of Business Engagement at Ulster University Business School, said,

“Whilst it has been an incredibly unsettling year, many individuals have used this period to explore new opportunities to upskill and retrain to remain competitive in the labour market. The economy is shifting, jobs are changing and new skills are needed for the future workplace. By aligning this skills initiative with the needs of the local marketplace, these innovative courses are unlocking the potential of the Northern Ireland workforce, bringing real and valuable opportunities to acquire new skills in priority growth areas. Students are leaving these courses with the knowledge, confidence and qualifications they need to thrive in a transformed post-pandemic economy.”

Graeme Wilkinson, Director of Skills for the Department for the Economy, added,

“These courses have helped those individuals most impacted by the pandemic to upskill and reskill to better prepare them for the employment opportunities needed to grow our economy. The flexible, online delivery has allowed the University to give the best possible support under the circumstances, and it has formed a key part of the Skills Intervention Programme, which has provided 5,000 learning opportunities across Northern Ireland. We want to continue to build on this success and provide more opportunities to support the economic recovery plans of the Executive.”

Among the UUBS courses on offer students have been able to study Postgraduate Certificates in Understanding International Business, Enabling Business Recovery, Business Analysis and Consulting, as well as an Advanced Certificate in Management Practice (Transformational Management in a Digital World).  All of these qualifications have a focus on helping participants make an impact in the workplace, allowing them to develop their organisation and adjust to the disruption caused by Covid-19.

Applications are now open for new funded places on Management and Leadership programmes in Executive Coaching, Leading Change Innovation and Transformation and Leading in a Digital Age which are all available from May 2021.

For more information on courses available, eligibility and to apply, please visit:

Alternatively, for further details about UUBS’s portfolio of management development and executive education programmes, please email