Springboard+ and Human Capital Initiative Pillar One 2020 Call for Proposals

The primary objective is to provide upskilling and reskilling courses to develop the talent base in Ireland in key growth sectors of the economy. Further information is available at:


Springboard+, which is managed by the Higher Education Authority on behalf of the Department of Education and Skills, began in 2011 as part of the Government’s Jobs Initiative. It complements the core State-funded education and training system and provides free and heavily subsidised upskilling and reskilling higher education opportunities in areas of identified skills need. The initiative’s primary target group when it was established was unemployed people with a previous history of employment. Over recent years with the decline in numbers on the live register the focus was changed to include more people in employment and those returning to the workforce.

ICT skills Conversion Courses were introduced in 2012 as a means to address concerns by industry and the enterprise development agencies about continuing difficulties in sourcing ICT graduates with requisite skills.

Springboard+ courses are at Level 6 (Certificate) to Level 9 (Masters) on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) and are delivered by public and private higher education providers around the country. Courses are not all a full award at each level – they may also be minor awards or special purposes awards. All courses provide job-readiness training and most offer the opportunity for work placement, project-based learning or industry site visits where appropriate.

All courses approved for funding under Springboard+ are selected by an independent panel with experts from industry and education following a competitive tendering process.  In particular, courses with a proven track record in getting people back into employment are recommended for funding.

The 2020 Call for proposals is being launched today, 16th January. The Springboard+ Call is being run in conjunction with the Call for applications under Pillar One of the Human Capital Initiative.

The Human Capital Initiative (HCI) will deliver an investment targeted towards increasing capacity in higher education in skills-focused programmes designed to meet priority skills needs.

These needs are identified though the detailed and comprehensive framework now in place under the National Skills Council, including publications from the Skills and Labour Market Research Unit (SLMRU), the work of the Regional Skills Fora, the NTF Advisory Group, and the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs, and direct involvement of employers. The HCI will also respond to the targets outlined in the National Skills Strategy, Technology Skills 2022, and other government strategies. It will seek to promote innovative and responsive models of programme delivery, and to enable the higher education system to respond rapidly to changes in both skills requirements and technology.

Applications for both calls will be submitted through an online portal at http://skillsdirect.hea.ie

The application portal will open in the week beginning 26th January 2020.

The Call for Springboard+ is available here: https://hea.ie/skills-engagement/springboard/

The Call for HCI Pillar One is available here: https://hea.ie/skills-engagement/human-capital-initiative-pillar-1/

A Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) document has been prepared to coincide with the Call document and will be circulated to all Providers. Any questions not addressed in this document can be submitted to springboard@hea.ie in respect of the Springboard+ Call and to hci@hea.ie in respect of the HCI Pillar One Call.

The FAQ document will be updated and uploaded to the website on Wednesday each week. The final FAQ will be uploaded on Thursday 27th February 2020.



Call for Proposals issues Thursday 16th January 2020
Deadline for submission of proposals Thursday 5th March 2020, 13.00 hrs
Providers notified of approved courses May 2020
Contracts agreed with HEA, Providers upload information for applicants to www.springboardcourses.ie May 2020
Applications for Springboard+ 2020 open via


May 2020


*The HEA will endeavor to adhere to these indicative dates. However, it may prove necessary to amend them as the initiative rolls out. Any changes in the timetable will be notified to prospective course Providers.

Springboard+ Call for Proposals Document

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