6,000 free education and training places for unemployed
I welcome the announcement by Minister Ruairi Quinn that an additional 6,000 free part-time higher education places are being made available under the Springboard programme to provide re-training opportunities to jobseekers.
There will be 3,525 new Springboard programme places in Dublin, with a total of 6,000 places nationally. 85 free Springboard courses will be provided in Dublin and will be directly accessible to Dublin South jobseekers. Institutions providing the Springboard training programmes include the Dublin Institute of Technology, the Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology, the Dublin Business School, the National College of Ireland, IBAT College Dublin and the Digital Skills Academy.
I’m particularly pleased that over 80% of these courses will provide a work placement for participants, meaning that people are getting hands-on experience as well as academic qualifications.
Despite the unemployment problem in Ireland and in Dublin South, there are industries in Ireland such as the ICT sector where underemployment is an issue. Springboard will address this skills shortage by giving jobseekers the re-training they need to find employment in these growing industries.
The Springboard qualifications will concentrate on growth areas such as Information Technology, Communications, International Languages and International Financial Services.
Over 2,000 job seekers have successfully returned to work in the past year on completion of a Springboard course. Courses are free, part-time, and are at certificate, degree and postgraduate level.
To be eligible for a place on a Springboard course a person must be unemployed, actively seeking employment, and be in receipt of one of the qualifying Department of Social Protection payments or be signing for credits or be previously self employed. There is no requirement to be in receipt of a payment for a particular period of time prior to the commencement of the programme. However, providers will be required to give priority to applications from people who are long term unemployed.
Applications can now be made on www.springboardcourses.ie A freephone guidance line 1800 303 523 is available to offer advice on course choices and applications.