National Learning Network – Castlebar

At NLN in Castlebar we provide a range of free courses to people who have had an accident, illness, injury or have a disability and extra support needs.

Our courses are tailored to each student’s needs, to help them to build their confidence while getting practical job-seeking skills to help them get a job or go on to further training.

For more information on courses available at NLN in Castlebar see below or call the centre today.

Area Manager: Nessa Canavan

Welcome to our Virtual Open Evening @ NLN Mayo – Watch as our instructors introduce our range of courses

Contact: Nessa Canavan

Address: Breaffy Road, Castlebar, Mayo

Tel: 094 9022770

General Enquiries

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Autism Support Programme – The Hub

The Hub is a course that works with students to achieve academic, social, vocational and independent living skills using evidence based methods and Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) to strengthen and teach new behaviours and self-management strategies.

Students’ skills are assessed when they begin the program to see what their individual strengths and needs are and an individualised plan is designed based on the results. Teaching is specific and broken down into steps for each individual in accordance with their needs. We move with the student at their pace. Our service encourages the individuals to lead decisions regarding their individualised programmes.

A support plan is drawn up for challenging behaviour if needed. We focus on skills building (e.g., communication skills, self-management skills) so students can develop the skills to regulate themselves.

Certification: Certification is an option for students on the autism program via QQI modules and/or ASDAN. ASDAN provide autism specific curriculum programmes and qualifications for students in vocational skills and certification is available for students of all abilities.


This exciting course gives students the opportunity to learn the skills needed to develop personal effectiveness and self-advocacy. It encourages people to become more independent, to operate in a supported community situation and to progress on to further training or education. Typically students aged 16-25 year old, who have recently completed formal education are best suited to this course.

Certification: QQI Level 3 Employability Skills (3M0935).

Fast Track to Employment

This course offers a mix of classroom-based learning and on-job-training. It gives structured training based with an employer of your choice. It offers real opportunities and direct links to employers. Modules on this course include: Retail Administration and Retail Selling. Course Duration: Up to 12 months.

Certification: QQI level 4 Employment Skills or Level 5 General Learning

Skills 4 Life

This course is designed to enable young people to explore their creative side through the use of digital media, art, podcasting and more. The main aim of this course is to develop the confidence and skills to enable students to gain employment or go to further education or training. Course duration: Up to 18 Months.

Certification: QQI Level 3 and 4 in Employability Skills.

IT & Digital Marketing

This course enables students to gain the skills and qualifications needed to work in the area of digital and social media or progress on to further education and training. Modules on this course include: Graphic Design, eBusiness, Desktop Publishing, Communications, Word, Mathematics to name a few. Course duration: Up to 2 Years.

Certification: QQI level 4 Information Communication Technologies or Level 5 in eBusiness.

IT & Business Studies by Blended Learning

This course combines classroom-based and home-based learning. Students are provided with a laptop and also receive individual support from their instructor. There is a strong focus on work experience, helping students to get a job.

Certification: QQI Level 5 Information Processing (5M2067), QQI Level 5 Information Processing (5M2067), QQI Level 5 Office Administration (5M1977).

Career Pathways

This is designed as a stepping-stone to getting a job for students who have little or no work experience or who are considering a change in career direction. Modules on this course include: Caring for children, Art & Design, Digital Media, Visual Art Practice. Course duration: Up to 18 Months.

Certification: QQI Level 3 and 4 in Employment skills.

Sports Industry and Gym Instructor Studies

This programme is designed to enable students to build a career as future coaches, leaders and managers in the sports and leisure industry. It has been specifically developed to assist students in gaining employment in the sports and leisure industry, or progressing on to further training and education in this field.

Certification: QQI Level 5 Sports Recreation and Exercise (5M5146).