Ballyhoura Development facilitates delivery of a Healthcare Opportunities for Women (HCOW) programme leading to a QQI5 Major Award in Healthcare.  

HCOW is a three year programme which provides accredited Healthcare training to women who, although not classified as unemployed, have the potential and the desire to return to work, in the healthcare sector.


This project is co-funded by the Irish Government and European Social Fund as Part of the ESF Programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning (PEIL) 2014 - 2020. 

This qualification enables people to work in care settings as a Care Assistant in nursing homes, hospitals, as carers in the community, or in a client’s own home.

The Programme is part time and flexible to suit existing commitments, and as well as accredited Healthcare Training, the programme includes One-to-One Coaching and Mentoring, Personal Development Skills, IT Skills and CV and interview skills.

HCOW includes a work experience element that provides participants with guided hands-on experience of working in the healthcare sector. Ongoing mentoring & support provided throughout the Programme supports women to complete and gain their accredited qualifications.

Our participants have shared their stories of how the programme has helped them to date.

Read Our Stories

Ballyhoura Development's Healthcare Opportunities for Women Programme won the Special Recognition AONTAS STAR Award in 2020 and was also a finalist in the category – Adult Learning Initiatives that Support Sustainable Employment.