Minister Halligan welcomes strong results in reskilling for employment in growth sector

Maura O'Shea

By Maura O'Shea

Posted: 29 December, 2016

Minister for Training, Skills and Innovation, John Halligan TD, has today launched “Developing Talent, Changing Lives”, an evaluation of Springboard+ 2011 – 2016. Springboard+ is co-funded by the Irish government and the European Social Fund as part of the ESF programme for employability, inclusion and learning 2014-2020.

Springboard+ represents a €113 million investment with over 30,000 course places filled on 1,349 courses since 2011. A further 5,825 places have come on stream in Autumn 2016. The report being published today presents an analysis of participants, academic output and employment outcomes data for Springboard+ participants since 2011.

Some of the key findings of the report are:

  • 80% of Springboard+ participants (2011 – 2015) are no longer on the live register
  • Employment rates 3-6 months after graduation have increased from 37% in 2011 to 61% in 2014
  • Online only courses have increased from 10% of places in 2011 to 15% in 2016 – giving access to courses from anywhere in the country
  • 16% of participants had no previous higher education qualification and employment rates for level 6 graduates have increased from 21% in 2011 to 58% in 2014, with more of these graduates also progressing to further study
  • The initiative has also supported access to lifelong learning and reskilling opportunities with 63% of participants aged between 30 and 49 years and 10% aged 50 to 65
  •   The number of participants that do not successfully complete a Springboard+ course has steadily improved, decreasing from 35% in 2011 to 13% in 2014.   A number of non-completions do so as they gain employment during their studies

Commenting on the findings, Minister Halligan said that “Springboard+ is a great example of education providers and employers working together to develop the talent required in the economy and changing people’s lives by giving them the chance to reskill to gain employment.   This is reflected in the finding that just one-third of employed respondents had a previous employment history in their current sector.”

Almost three-quarters of employees in the ICT sector are new to the sector, 68% are new the Biopharma-pharmachem sector and 80% are new to Medical Devices. Minister Halligan also welcomed the strong female participation on ICT courses, “Data tells us that there are great job opportunities for graduates in the ICT sector and wider economy.  I’m delighted that Springboard+ ICT courses are attracting a higher proportion of female participants and we need to build on this success in the coming years.”

The proportion of females participating on Springboard+ ICT courses is 27% which is almost double that entering through the CAO system to mainstream ICT courses at 15%. ICT Skills Conversion graduates had the highest employment rates 3-6 months after graduation at 73% in 2014.

Survey results show strong positive sentiment to participation in Springboard:

  • 90% of respondents strongly agree or agree that Springboard+ has had a positive impact on their life
  •  96% of respondents said they would recommend a Springboard+ course to their family and friends
  • 71% of all respondents, and 78% of ICT Skills Conversion course respondents, either strongly agree or agree that since finishing their courses, their overall outlook and optimism about their career prospects improve

Springboard was designed to help reskill people who lost their jobs as a result of the recession. The programme has been continuously monitored since its launch in 2011.   Further information on Springboard+ is available on

An Evaluation of Springboard 2011-16

More: Minister Halligan, Springboard+, Training

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