1 June 2017
By Tom Collins
Free higher education courses will be made available to people in Cork and the wider area as part of this year’s Springboard+ programme, it was announced this week. Cork Institute of Technology and University College Cork are among 39 education providers nationwide that have been selected to offer the free Springboard+ courses.
What is Springboard?
Springboard+ is the government programme aimed at upskilling and reskilling jobseekers to work in growing enterprise sectors that need skilled personnel. In total, 6,471 free places will be on offer nationwide under this year’s programme.
For the first time, homemakers are eligible to participate in Springboard+ courses this year and there is also wider availability for those in employment or self-employment who wish to upskill or reskill in the Biopharma/Medtech and ICT sectors. The courses also remain open to jobseekers.
Commenting on the launch of Springboard+ 2017, Dr Vivienne Patterson, Head of Skills and Engagement at the Higher Education Authority, said: “Springboard+ has built on the success of previous years and we are delighted to be able to offer a choice of almost 200 courses this year.
“One of the most successful features of the Springboard+ programme is that 54% of the courses offer flexible provision. This includes blended learning, fully online (e-learning) courses and those that are done by distance education.
“This is a key factor for people in employment, homemakers and for those living in Cork and the wider area in allowing them to access courses they would not normally be able to.”
Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton TD also commented on the new elements of Springboard+ 2017: “Springboard has been particularly successful at giving people the skills to get back into the workforce. 80% of Springboard participants (2011 – 2015) are no longer on the Live Register. This year we are expanding the programme to homemakers, and for some disciplines, to those in employment to meet specific emerging skills needs. Given the success of this innovative programme to date I am hopeful that we will be in a position to expand the Springboard+ model in the years ahead.”
Full details of all courses available in Cork are available now at: www.springboardcourses.ie. Guidance counsellors are also available to advise interested applicants through the free-phone Springboard+ helpline, 1800-303523.