Huge demand for free Springboard programme at AIT

Dr Michael Tobin of the Department of Adult and Continuing Education at the Athlone Institute of Technology contacted the newspaper this week to say that the demand for the free Springboard programme offered at the Athlone Institute of Technology, has been astounding. It has been so high that he is going to approach the Higher Education Authority (Springboard ) to see if they will fund additional places.

Dr Tobin holds that “given the demand and interest so far as witnessed by the department for the certificate in quality management, lean six sigma, and creativity that it demonstrates how initiatives like Springboard are so vitally important for the economy and in particular for the large numbers of job seekers that we now have in the Midland Region who wish to up-skill on a part-time basis.”

The current programme on offer is a newly developed programme with 30 plus places available. The certificate in quality management, lean six sigma and creativity, HETAC Level 6, one year part time programme, will be delivered in the AIT over 12 hours on Thursdays and Fridays, for one year commencing this December 13. The application deadline is Friday December 7.

“The objective of the programme is to give participants a sound framework in quality management, six sigma, and creativity enabling participants to build their future prospects and career direction in this area. To assist this aim the course will also comprise learning in the area of professional development and career planning,” he added. Entry requirement to the programme is based on an individual being a mature student (23 years of age ) or if younger to have a Leaving Certificate Grade D3 in five subjects at ordinary level (or equivalent ) to include mathematics and a language (English or Irish ), or equivalent.

Springboard offers job seekers free higher education courses part time and was first launched as part of the Government’s jobs initiative in May 2011. Dr Tobin said that “This programme is free to all jobseekers actively seeking employment. The list of those eligible is endless. It includes those on one parent family allowance, carer allowance; those currently participating on Community Employment Schemes, Rural Social Schemes, ús, Jobsbridge; those on social insurance credits; and, those that were previously self-employed, to list but a few of the categories.”

All those interested are urged to apply as soon as possible. The closing date for applications is Friday December 7 with classes commencing Thursday December 13 at 10am.

For more information log on to or call Janine King at the Department of Adult and Continuing Education at (090 ) 64 83054 or email [email protected].

Application is solely via an online application on the Springboard website at



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