Springboard and ICT Skills Conversion Programme
Springboard began in 2011 as part of the Government’s Jobs Initiative. It complements the core State-funded education and training system and provides free or 90% funded 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.
The ICT skills conversion programme is being provided as part of the joint Government-Industry ICT Action Plan 2014 - 2018. The programme is targeted at jobseekers who already hold a level 8 or equivalent qualification and have the capacity and underlying aptitude, to undergo an intensive full-time or part-time programme of study and work experience, to acquire honours degree level ICT programming skills.
Springboard courses and the ICT skills conversion programme are now run as a joint initiative under the banner brand Springboard+.
Springboard+ courses are at Level 6 (Certificate) to Level 9 (Masters) on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) and are delivered in public and private education facilities around the country. All courses provide job-readiness training and most offer the opportunity for work placement, project-based learning or industry site visits where appropriate.
Springboard+ is funded by 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.
Springboard+ 2018 will provide for over 8,000 places on 245 courses in public and private educational institutions throughout Ireland. All courses selected for funding under Springboard+ 2018 are in areas of identified enterprise skills needs. Courses were selected, following a competitive call for proposals, by an independent evaluation panel using published criteria that included value for money, flexible delivery, engagement with industry and skills relevance. Courses approved for funding in 2018 will be in the following skills areas: ICT, Engineering, Manufacturing, Construction, Hospitality, Business, Administration and Law. Limited courses will also be available in Entrepreneurship, Animation, Medical Devices Decontamination and certain other manufacturing related services courses.
Eligibility criteria for Springboard+ 2018
Springboard+ 2018 will provide:
- Free higher education courses in areas of identified skill needs to unemployed people, those previously self-employed and those returning to work.
- Free higher education level 6 courses in areas of identified skill needs to those in employment.
- 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.
How to Apply
Further information on Springboard+ 2018 including entry requirements and eligibility criteria are available on the dedicated information and applications website: www.springboardcourses.ie. Applications are submitted online and decisions around the award of places on the programmes are a matter for individual course providers.