Check against Delivery
Good morning everyone and welcome to the launch of Springboard+ 2015.
I want to thank John, Marie and Ciaran for sharing their experiences of Springboard with us this morning.
It is clear from what we have heard that participating on a Springboard course can really make a difference.
An important feature of Springboard has been the evaluation of outcomes for these participants and employment trends.
This has enabled us to track outcomes for over 21,000 people who have already participated on a Springboard course between 2011 and 2014.
I am delighted that new data from the Department of Social Protection shows that 74% of all Springboard participants during this period are no longer on the Live Register.
Data also shows that while participants who were long-term unemployed at the start of their course find it harder to get employment, 45% of this group now achieve employment/self-employment within 6 months of completing a Springboard course.
This validates our focus this year on increasing the availability of Springboard courses for participants with no previous higher education qualifications. This is being achieved by an increase in level 6 courses in particular.
Data also shows that the quality of employment is trending upwards with 85% of survey respondents in full-time jobs.
95% of jobs are in Ireland and 49% are located outside Dublin.
Feedback from participants
In terms of feedback from participants, 98% of 2014 graduates recommend Springboard to others wishing to reskill for employment.
Participants have also identified the most helpful aspects of Springboard for securing employment as work placement, the part-time and flexible delivery of courses; course content, the qualification received; and networking opportunities with employers.
In that context, I’m pleased to say that work placement is now a feature of over 90% of courses in 2015 (excluding entrepreneurship courses) compared to 70% of courses in 2011.
Springboard+ is specifically targeted at high growth areas. ICT skills are particularly in demand. Springboard+ will ensure that graduates have these high-level ICT skills that will address the needs of employers. This is supported by findings from a survey of ICT skills conversion graduates which indicates that 87% of graduates are in employment within 18 months of completing their course.
Springboard+ is just one of a number of industry focused reskilling initiatives that are available to jobseekers. Momentum, JobBridge, and the Skillnets are also providing additional targeted programmes, focused on addressing the skill needs of industry and supporting jobseekers into employment.
Information on all of these initiatives can be found on www.skillstowork.ie, which is aimed at making it easier for jobseekers and employers to know what Government skills initiatives are available.
Finally, I am delighted to see that the Springboard Helpline will be available again this year. This helpline is invaluable to prospective students when deciding on the best course options available to them under Springboard.