Ministers Harris and Collins announce over 10,500 free or heavily-subsidised courses for unemployed, self-employed or returners to work

25 May, 2022

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris, and Minister of State for Skills and Further Education, Niall Collins, have launched 10,697 places on 275 courses under Springboard+ (“Springboard Plus”) 2022.

The announcement includes 600 places on Springboard+ courses delivered by TU Dublin for this round of funding. Springboard+ courses are from Level 6 (certificate) to Level 9 (masters) on the National Framework of Qualifications and are delivered by public and private higher education providers around the country.

Springboard+ provides higher-education courses in areas of identified skills needs. Courses are free for people who are:

  • unemployed
  • previously self-employed
  • returning to the workforce

Courses are also free for employed people on NFQ Level 6 courses. For employed participants on courses NFQ level 7 to 9, 90% of the course fee is funded by the state, with students required to contribute just 10% of the fee.

Minister Harris said:

“As we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic and in the current economic climate, where new technologies and business practices are on the rise and issues such as climate change must be urgently addressed, lifelong learning is essential to ensure employability, meet societal needs and enable personal fulfilment.

“Upskilling is important for everyone in employment, regardless of their occupation or current skill levels. Springboard+ and the graduate conversion courses under the Human Capital Initiative are a key part of the government’s strategy to ensure we are planning for the future skills needs of our economy, which is critical to delivering on our ambitions as a nation."

Springboard+ 2022 courses are in new and emerging technologies at TU Dublin, including Data Science, BIM Technologies, Cloud Computing, Digital Leadership and Digital Enterprise. 

All of these areas demonstrate the responsiveness of the higher-education sector to advances in technology and changes in our environment. Now entering its twelfth year, over 90,000 people have benefitted from the programme to date. The Springboard+ programme is managed by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) on behalf of the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science.

Funding is allocated to Springboard+ from the National Training Fund annually. €41.4 million has been earmarked to Springboard+ for the calendar year 2022. Since 2011, over €330 million has been spent on Springboard+.

Minister Collins said:

“Springboard+ training programmes provide people who are unemployed, those looking to return to the workforce and those in employment with a great opportunity to upskill or reskill in areas in which employers need skilled workers. I am particularly pleased that courses provided under Springboard+ 2022 will continue to be delivered in a flexible manner, in excess of 95% of the courses will be delivered in a flexible format which will enable more people to engage in upskilling and reskilling around the country.”

Find out more information about Springboard+ at TU Dublin.

Read more about the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science announcement here. 
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