Focused on supporting each person to achieve their learning goals

National Learning Network is Ireland’s leading provider of supported, inclusive education, based in over 50 locations and offering quality, certified courses to assist people on their educational journey. Training courses at National Learning Network are designed for people aged 16 to 65 who need additional support, including people with disabilities, mental health issues, autism, dyslexia, social anxiety or those recovering from an accident or illness.

National Learning Network (NLN) is focused on supporting each person to achieve their learning goals and develop the specific skills they need to take the next steps in their educational and employment journey, whilst building confidence and enhancing their connections within their communities. Training courses on offer cover a broad range of skill areas from retail to barista skills to business administration, personal budgeting to art and design, horsemanship, catering and CV creation. 

Different abilities

Director of Learning, Lucianne Bird, said: “Everybody has different needs, different abilities, and are at different stages in their lives, and our goal at National Learning Network is to meet people where they are and support them to progress to where they want to be. That is why students can start courses with us at any time of the year that suits them. 

“We are not like other educational providers, we fit the programme to the person, not the person to the programme. We are all about person-centred support services. It is the student’s journey, led by them and supported by our multi-disciplinary teams.”

“Many students come to NLN with little or no work experience and go on to find lasting employment or to pursue the career of their dreams. We are very much a stepping stone for students coming from school or people who need further support to move on to employment.”

“We offer a person-centred plan for the students. For many people, it may be the case that they need time and support to figure out what it is they want to do. There is no ‘right path’ for anybody. The student is their own expert on what they want and what works for them.”

A pathway

“We work with people who need some flexibility and extra support to learn at their own pace, including people with a physical or learning disability, people with autism, people with mental health difficulties, or people recovering from an accident or illness.”

Lucianne continued: “For our staff members, the most rewarding part of our work is to see that the student has moved on from NLN, has achieved their own goals, has a support network and is thriving.”

“Learning is at the student’s own pace, in small classes and with work experience tailored to individual needs and abilities. All students have access to one-to-one support from instructors in numeracy and literacy, as well as a psychologist.”


Every year, NLN helps over 7 thousand people across Ireland. 90% of the people who complete an NLN course progress to further or higher education or to employment.

Training courses at National Learning Network are funded by the local Education and Training Boards or the HSE.

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