Upskilling and Reskilling - Higher Education

Competitive Call for proposals to be funded under Springboard+ 2019.

The Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh T.D. together with the Minister of State at the Department of Education and Skills, John Halligan T.D. today issued a competitive call to all higher education providers for course proposals which will be funded under Springboard+ 2019.

Now in its ninth year, Springboard+ has to date provided 55,000 free higher education places, primarily to jobseekers in need of upskilling or reskilling to allow them to re-enter the labour market. €34.438 million has been allocated for Springboard+ 2019, which will provide for up to 9,000 places on a broad range of courses.

The call for proposals for 2019 puts a particular focus on four key areas, which have been deemed by government as being of critical importance at this time: digital skills, transversal skills, management and leadership skills and the workplace of the future, which includes emerging new technologies such as robotics, artificial intelligence and blockchain.

The call document also highlights the skills needs that may be required to respond to Brexit.

Springboard+ 2019 courses will be open to people irrespective of their employment status.

  • Level 6 courses will remain free to all participants.
  • Returners (homemakers) and those in receipt of certain allowances, including Jobseekers Benefit, will continue to be able to access courses free of charge.
  • 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.

Course proposals must be submitted online via http://skillsdirect.hea.ie

The closing date for submission of proposals was 13:00 on Monday 25th February 2019.

Any queries on the call process for 2019 must be emailed to springboard@hea.ie and responses will be made via email.

Decisions on proposals for funding will be made by a panel of experts with industry and educational expertise, supported by the HEA. An independent process auditor will oversee the assessment and selection process.

Candidates who wish to participate in Springboard+ 2019 will find full details on the approved courses on the dedicated information and applications website www.springboardcourses.ie during June 2019.

Springboard+ forms part of the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs, the Action Plan for Education and the National Skills Strategy. The programme is funded through the National Training Fund and the European Social Fund.

The call document and the ICT conversion guidance document are available at www.hea.ie