The Arts Council offers funding for artists for professional development. The Travel and Training Award is offered in three strands. The Travel and Training Outbound Award offers funding for Irish artists to travel outside of the island of Ireland to improve their practice through vocational training such as masterclasses or specialist training courses. The Travel and Training Inbound Award offers assistance to arts organisations to bring in specialists from abroad to work with their artists. The third strand relates to arts organisations wishing to travel that are in the process of applying to a Creative Europe (culture sub-programme) fund. The Council also strategically funds arts and cultural organisations that offer vocational training such as Dance Ireland, Visual Arts Ireland, Fire Station Studios, or the Gallery of Photography. A number of these artist-oriented organisations offer short vocational training courses for professional artists within their specific disciplines to complement their practice.
Post Leaving Certificate (PLC) courses taught in Colleges of Further Education offer a training opportunity for students who were not offered third level choices through the CAO points system or they were not interested in that route. Programmes include arts and humanities education and training. These qualifications are recognised by the National Framework of Qualifications and therefore by all third level educational institutions. Students can therefore gain access for progression to level 7 or 8 programmes. While these programmes act as a stepping-stone towards tertiary educational attainment, they also offer improved access to the workforce on completion. Criticisms of the current system relate to the reduction of options related to craft-based apprenticeships schemes, as well as an outsourcing of service provision to private agencies such as Seetec.