North West Regional College (NWRC) is seeking applicants for an innovative employability programme to enable professionals to return to work after an extended career break.

Funded by the Department for the Economy Skill Up programme, this 15-week Women Returners’ Programme will begin on Wednesday 17th January, 2024, (subject to numbers) at the college’s Strabane Campus and will provide women with an OCN Level 2 Certificate in Business Administration Skills and Soft Skills.

NWRC Business Development Executive Jane Fleming explained: ” 75% of participants who took part in our previous Women Returners’ programme are now in full-time / part-time employment.

“This programme is great for women of any age who have been away from work or had a career gap due to family, health, or caring responsibilities. It can help them get back into the job market and could be the start of new opportunities.”

Candidates must be able to fully commit to 15 weeks as required of a part-time course and there will be an interview stage as part of the application process.

NWRC Curriculum Manager for Business Administration Luane Quigley added: ‘’This programme is a potential route into employment with a built-in placement. There is great demand for administration roles across all sectors and great opportunities for a progression route for woman into IT roles. The course includes content such as written communications, email software, using office equipment, teamwork, welcoming and receiving visitors.’’

Successful applicants will also be given an 8-week placement with a local company which is incorporated into the 15-week programme.

A spokesperson for NuPrint said: ‘’Thank you for sending one of the participants from the Women Returners’ Programme to us on placement. She provided invaluable support and carried out numerous tasks during her time with us. You have probably seen more of us on social media in the last few weeks than ever before.’’

This initiative is filling the gap in the market for admin and IT roles. If employers would like to participate in this, they can also register their interest here:


One of the participants who recently completed the Women Returners’ programme said: ‘’The skills that I have learned throughout the programme has helped me to be more confident in putting myself forward for roles both within my placement and in future employment. The group of women on the course, tutors, Dress for Success Day, chat with Hays Recruitment, talk on Imposter Syndrome, and the work placement opportunity were the things I most enjoyed about the course. I would recommend this programme to family members, friends or work colleagues looking to return to the world of work.’’

To be eligible for Skill Up funding you must be over 18 years of age, eligible to work in Northern Ireland, ‘Settled’ in Northern Ireland, and has been ordinarily resident in the UK for at least three years; or is a person who has indefinite leave to enter or remain in the UK.

For more information and to apply please visit