Government launch Springboard+ 2018



By Maria Cross

Posted: 4 June, 2018

Free upskilling and reskilling courses for unemployed & homemakers, 90% funded for employed

Over 8,000 places, on 245 courses across the country, 25% increase on last year

Government puts emphasis on importance of lifelong learning and upskilling

The Minister for Education and Skills Richard Bruton, T.D. and the Minister of State for Training, Skills and Innovation John Halligan T.D., today launched a new suite of courses under Springboard+ 2018.

This government is committed to making Ireland’s education and training service the best in Europe by 2026. Lifelong learning and upskilling are key to achieving this ambition and are particularly vital in an economy approaching full employment.

Springboard+ provides free higher education courses in areas of identified skills needs to unemployed people, those previously self-employed and those returning to work. Courses will also be free for employed people on NFQ Level 6 courses. For employed participants on courses NFQ level 7 – 9, 90% of the course fee will be funded by the Government, with participants required to contribute just 10% of the fee.

Over 8,000 places will be available this coming academic year on 245 courses across the country, including in new areas such as robotics and artificial intelligence.  This is an increase of almost 25% on the previous year.

Since 2011 over €161m has been allocated to Springboard+ providing for over 47,000 places. The Springboard+ programme is managed by the Higher Education Authority, on behalf of the Department of Education and Skills.

Minister Bruton said “Ireland’s economic bounceback has been achieved by many enterprises and workers who reinvented their business, but we have also seen nearly 50,000 people reinvent themselves by using Springboard to change career. This is still a very exiting pathway which we are now opening to those in employment and homemakers. There are now over 8,000 places on 245 courses across the country – a 25% increase on last year.”

Minister Halligan commented “The speed of development of new technologies will inevitably affect the future workplace and there will be no escaping these changes.  What is new and innovative today will be outdated in no time.   It will be vital for employees to continue to upskill and reskill to keep up to date with the latest technologies.  Springboard+ provides excellent opportunities to the unemployed and those in employment to upskill or reskill to keep pace with the advances in technology.”

The 8,088 places on offer under Springboard+ 2018 represents an investment of €30.438m 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+ 2018 will find full details on the approved courses on the dedicated information and applications website www.springboardcourses.ie