Government launches Springboard+ 2019

The Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh T.D. and the Minister of State for Training, Skills Innovation, Research and Development John Halligan T.D. today launched a new suite of courses under Springboard+ 2019. This brings the number of courses to 285 and the number of places available from this academic year to over 9,000.

Government has identified four areas of critical importance: digital skills, soft skills, management and leadership and the workplace of the future. All courses address at least one of these areas in detail, with many including all four of the critical areas.

Many courses focus on future-proofing the skills of people already in employment, particularly in roles that may be impacted by digitalisation. This strategy is aligned with the priorities set by the National Skills Council and Future Jobs Ireland 2019.

Minister McHugh said: “Springboard+ training programmes provide people who are unemployed, those looking to return to the workforce and those in employment with a great opportunity to upskill or reskill in areas in which employers need skilled workers.

“As technology evolves, it brings with it new ways of doing business and new economic opportunities. The Government recognises that it is essential that people in employment have the opportunity to keep pace with these advances.”

Minister Halligan commented: “I am particularly pleased to see that almost 90% of the courses provided under Springboard+ 2019 will be delivered in a more flexible format, which aligns with the continued opening-up of courses to learners, irrespective of their employment status. As well as aiding participation for those in employment, increased provision will allow people from all across the country to access programmes in regions other than where they reside.”

Courses on offer through Springboard+ include cutting-edge training in blockchain, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, virtual reality and smart factory technology. Employees, jobseekers and those returning to work can all avail of these free or subsidised courses.

Springboard+ courses are free for people who are unemployed, those who were previously self-employed and returners to the workforce. Courses are also free for people in employment, on NFQ Level 6 courses. For employed participants on courses NFQ level 7 – 9, 90% of the course fee is funded by the Government, with participants required to contribute just 10% of the fee.

Recent research undertaken by the HEA has shown that 90% of participants who were on the Live Register at the start of their courses are now in employment.  

Since 2011 over €192m has been allocated to Springboard+, providing over 55,000 places. The Springboard+ programme is managed by the Higher Education Authority, on behalf of the Department of Education and Skills.

The 9,151 places on offer under Springboard+ 2019 represents an investment of €34.3m from the National Training Fund with co-funding from the European Union under the European Social Fund, as part of the ESF Programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning 2014-2020.

Candidates who wish to participate in Springboard+ 2019 will find full details on the approved courses on the dedicated information and applications website www.springboardcourses.ie

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