Applications are open from Wednesday May 25 and a helpline for applicants will be available on 1800 303523 from early June
Availability of over 10,000 places on further and higher education courses under the Springboard Plus (Springboard+) initiative has been announced for people in Carlow and across Ireland.
The news came from the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris, who confirmed a total of 10,697 places on 275 courses at institutions across Ireland.
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.
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."
Today, we are announcing over 10,500 free higher education courses under the Springboard+ 2022.— Simon Harris TD (@SimonHarrisTD) May 25, 2022
These courses are in areas of growth including health innovation, retail and creative industries.
Log onto https://t.co/tNj35yngj0 for further details pic.twitter.com/AacNYydgk4
The courses are in areas of new and emerging technologies, including cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, climate and sustainability, construction, energy, health innovation, logistics, online retail and creative industries.
Now in its twelfth year, almost 100,000 people have benefitted from the Springboard programme to date.
Funding for the programme is allocated from the National Training Fund on an annual basis, with €41.4 million ringfenced for Springboard+ for the calendar year 2022.
Over €330 million has been spent on Springboard+ since 2011.
Minister of State for Skills and Further Education, Niall Collins, also commented on the news and 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."
Courses are free for people who are unemployed, previously self-employed and 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.
Applications are open from Wednesday May 25 and a helpline for applicants will be available on 1800 303523 from early June.
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