Government of Ireland
Regional Skills

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Human Capital Initiative

5 January 2022 

Human Capital Initiative

The Human Capital Initiative (HCI), which was announced by the Government in Budget 2019, is an initiative which provides a €300m investment of National Training Fund monies to enable our Higher Education system to respond more rapidly to the changes and challenges we face.


The Higher Education Authority on behalf of the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science manages the three pillars of the Human Capital Initiative, which are increasing capacity in higher education in skills focused courses. All courses are designed to meet priority skills needs for enterprise, the economy and society. These needs are identified though the detailed and comprehensive framework in place under the National Skills Council, including publications from the Skills and Labour Market Research Unit (SLMRU), the work of the Regional Skills Fora, the NTF Advisory Group, the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs, and direct involvement of employers. The Human Capital Initiative will also respond to the targets outlined in the National Skills Strategy, Technology Skills 2022, and other government strategies.


Pillars 1 and 2 are increasing the number of Graduates and Postgraduates on courses in identified skills needs areas.

Pillar 3 is focused on the core principle of embedding innovation and agility across a wide spectrum of undergraduate provision. Twenty-two projects developing innovative, and responsive models of programme delivery, are underway. These projects will boost the higher education systems ability to respond rapidly to changes in both skills requirements and technology. All projects are collaborative academia – enterprise partnerships and cover a wide range of disciplines in new innovative ways from Cybersecurity to Financial Services, Sustainable Building to Additive Manufacturing and Pharma to Micro-Credentials and Recognition of Prior Learning.

The HEA invites you to learn more about the range of activity under Pillar 3 by watching these videos. There are long and short versions available on YouTube at the links below.

HCI Pillar 3 programme overview – long version  (11 minutes)

HCI Pillar 3 programme overview – short version (1 minute)