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An exciting programme from the Software Skillnet in association with leading tech companies.

Register your interest in 2020 programmes 

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KickSTART is for jobseekers and graduates of all backgrounds and offers the opportunity to

  • gain new skills and qualifications 
  • acquire real work experience in companies leading the field in virtualisation and cyber security
  • get primed and ready for great career opportunities in the IT sector
On completion of the KickSTART programme, you’ll be fully trained in industry-leading technology, with internationally recognised certifications and on-the-job experience.

Who is the programme aimed at?

KickSTART is for jobseekers and graduates of any background, who have excellent problem-solving and people skills, a passion for technology and an interest in pursuing exciting career opportunities in the tech sector.
KickSTART is a free programme for anyone who is unemployed. It’s a great starting point for IT and other graduates, priming you for open roles with top companies in virtualisation and cyber security. 


What does the programme involve?

The programme runs over 15 weeks and consists of technical training delivered by industry experts, alternating with work placement with VMware or Varonis.
  • Linux, CompTIA Network+, Information Storage Management, Windows Server, SQL and VSphere ICM training, with VCP and CompTIA Network+ certification. 
  • 5 weeks onsite with VMware or Varonis, applying your new skills in a real, live job environment, and on-the-job mentoring to support and enhance your learning.
  • Professional and Customer skills training.
  • Workshops on CV, social media and interview skills to hone your recruitment potential.
Selection Criteria

Our preferred candidates will meet the criteria below. However, we love diversity and a mix of talent and since the KickSTART programme provides comprehensive training, we strongly encourage all those interested to apply.
You should be
  • A good communicator
  • Creative, with problem-solving skills
  • A team player who enjoys working with people
  • Self-motivated
  • Passionate about technology
We'd like you to have
  • Customer-facing experience, with a drive for customer success
  • Experience working as part of a team.
  • Previous working knowledge in any of the following areas is useful but not essential: Linux, Microsoft (Windows Server Families 2008 or 2003, Windows Desktop 7, and/or XP), plus x86 platforms, devices, and networking
  • Technical Certifications (MCSE, CCNA, Linux Certifications etc.) would be advantageous, but are not essential
Desirable, but not essential, education and Training
  • IT background not essential – we welcome graduates of all backgrounds with the right attributes.
  • Previous training, education or experience in IT environments would be beneficial, i.e.
    • Candidates with an IT-related Degree; OR other IT qualification.
    • Candidates with prior experience as an IT professional, working with hardware or software in the technology sector.

KickSTART is open to unemployed people who are permitted to work in Ireland (EU/EEA nationals and those holding immigration stamp 4 or higher).

KickSTART is also open to residents of Reception and Integration Agency (RIA) accommodation centres, who must meet the following criteria:

  • Already have a right to access the labour market (i.e., hold a letter of permission to work in Ireland issued by the Labour Market Access unit of the Department of Justice and Equality);
  • Be resident in Cork city or in one of the accommodation centres in Cork;
  • Not have had a final decision on their application.

Note that all relevant details provided by the applicant will be checked and validated with the Department of Justice and Equality.

More information

Contact us
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90% of participants on previous programmes have gained employment within one month of completion. 


Join over 250 KickSTARTers now forging exciting IT careers as technical support engineers, IT analysts, project managers, solutions engineers, IT sales associates and systems operations engineers!