Applications are opening from today (25 May) for 275 free and subsidised courses under Springboard+ 2022, the Government’s programme for people who are looking to upskill.
There are 10,697 places on offer this year. Course topics include cybersecurity, AI, climate and sustainability, energy, health innovation and logistics.
There will also be 2,341 places on 90 graduate conversion courses, together with 890 places on 27 ICT courses funded on a three-year basis in the 2020/21 academic year. These fall under the remit of the Human Capital Initiative (HCI) Pillar 1.
HCI provides additional capacity across the higher education sector to meet priority skill needs for enterprise. Graduate conversion programmes under the HCI offer incentivised places for graduates to reskill in areas of skills shortage and emerging technologies. These are being run alongside, and complementary to, the Springboard+ offerings.
Springboard+ is aimed at people who are unemployed, self-employed or who are looking to change careers. It provides higher education courses in industries which are affected by skills gaps. The courses are delivered by various public and private education providers around the country.
This year’s programme was launched today by Minister for Further and Higher Education, Simon Harris, TD and Minister of State for Skills and Further Education, Niall Collins, TD.
According to Harris, upskilling and having a workforce equipped to deal with “new technologies and business practices” as well as “issues such as climate change” is important for Ireland’s post-pandemic development.
Collins pointed out that “in excess of 95pc” of this year’s courses would continue to be delivered in a flexible manner “which will enable more people to engage in upskilling and reskilling around the country.”
Most courses are free or heavily subsidised and range from Level 6 to Level 9 qualifications on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ). Courses are free for the unemployed, previously self-employed and returners to the workforce.
Courses are also free for employed people on NFQ Level 6 courses. For employed participants on courses ranging from NFQ level 7 to 9, 90pc of the course fee is funded by the state. Participants are required to contribute 10pc of the fee.
Springboard+ has been running for 12 years. In that time, it has seen more than 90,000 people pass through it. To date, around €330m in funding has been allocated to the programme by the National Training Fund. This year, Springboard+ has been allocated €41.4m.
Candidates who wish to participate in Springboard+ 2022 or HCI Pillar 1 courses will find full details on the dedicated information and applications website.
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