Springboard+ 2016 offers free course places for jobseekers

Springboard+ 2016 is the latest offering of free part-time and full-time higher education places to provide reskilling and upskilling opportunities for up to 5,825 jobseekers.

Springboard is designed to encourage a response by educational institutions to meet the emerging skill needs of enterprise. All courses approved for funding under Springboard+ are selected by an independent panel following a competitive tendering process. Almost half the places (2,752 ) are on ICT courses reflecting the continuing demand for skills in this area. Skills for manufacturing are also significant (1,298 ) reflecting the strong performance of this sector.

There are 180 courses, both full- and part-time, in 36 educational institutions across the country. Announcing the 5,825 free places, Minister for Education, Richard Bruton, said: “Today’s announcement reflects a commitment in the Programme for Government to deliver a step change in our capacity to educate, develop, deploy, and retain talent. The competitive tendering model used to select Springboard+ courses is a good one.

"I will be considering how this model, along with other incentives, can be developed and utilised to encourage further responses to skill needs and partnership between the third level sector and enterprise. Springboard+ embodies the core ambition set out earlier in the year in the National Skills Strategy – to ensure that we have a system that is flexible, responsive to the needs of enterprise and adult learners, and that delivers the maximum impact for our public resources.”

“I am delighted to announce that this year the ICT Conversion courses will also be available to eligible participants on a pilot part-time, two-year option. This is due to the continuing demand for high quality ICT graduates.”

In 2016, priority has been given to ICT, high-level manufacturing, entrepreneurship, and international financial services. Also included are new courses in culinary skills in order to address emerging skills gaps in that area.

Full details of Springboard+ are available on www.springboardcourses.ie or by calling (1800 ) 303523.

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