Now in its eighth year, Springboard+ has to date provided 47,000 free higher education places, primarily to jobseekers in need of upskilling or reskilling to allow them to re-enter the labour market.
From last year, the eligibility criteria for Springboard+ was expanded to include homemakers and those in employment who wished to upskill or reskill to meet specific emerging skills needs in the ICT and Biopharma/Med Tech sectors.
This year, for the first time, Springboard+ courses will be extended so that all courses will now be open to people irrespective of their employment status.
- Level 6 courses will remain free to all participants.
- Returners 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.
This change reflects the Government’s emphasis on the importance of life-long learning and upskilling/reskilling throughout one’s career.
Eligible applicants for Springboard+ 2019
- Those in receipt of an eligible payment from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection who already hold a National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) award at level 5 or 6 or equivalent, with a previous history of employment with a previous history of employment who already hold a higher level qualification at NFQ levels 6 to 9, who may require additional upskilling or reskilling in order to re-enter employment.
- Previously self-employed people at all qualifications level who may require new qualifications to return to self-employment or to enter employment.
- Returners who already hold an NFQ award at level 5 or 6 or equivalent, with a previous history of employment with a previous history of employment who already hold a higher level qualification at NFQ levels 6 to 9, who may require additional upskilling or reskilling in order to re-enter employment.
- Those in employment wishing to upskill or reskill to meet required skill needs across a range of sectors
Places will be provided free of charge to those participants from categories 1-3 above. In the case of category 4, level 6 courses remain free and a contribution of 10% of the cost of the place will be collected by the provider for level 7-9 courses. This contribution can be paid by the participant or the employer. The HEA will fund the remaining 90% of the cost directly to the providers.
Please see more details regarding eligibility at www.springboardcourses.ie/eligibility