10,000 free courses for unemployed, self-employed or returners to work

The Government has launched 10,158 places on 294 courses under Springboard+ 2021.  In addition 1,101 places on 1 and 2 year ICT graduate conversion courses are also on offer under the initiative.

Springboard+ courses are at Level 6 (Certificate) to Level 9 (Masters) on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) and are delivered by public and private higher education providers around the country.

Now in its tenth year, over 75,000 people have benefitted from the programme to date. The Springboard+ programme is managed by the Higher Education Authority, on behalf of the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science.

Funding is allocated to Springboard+ from the National Training Fund (NTF) on an annual basis, with over Ä290m of funding provided since it commenced in 2011.

In addition, 1,869 courses will be funded for graduates under The Human Capital Initiative (HCI). The initiative provides additional capacity across the Higher Education Sector to meet priority skill needs for enterprise. Graduate Conversion Programmes under the HCI offer incentivised places for graduates to reskill in areas of skills shortage and emerging technologies. These are being run alongside, and complementary to, the Springboard+ offerings.

Springboard+ provides higher education courses in areas of identified skills needs. Courses are free for the unemployed, previously self-employed and returners to the workforce. Courses are also free for employed people on NFQ Level 6 courses. For employed participants on courses NFQ level 7 – 9, 90% of the course fee is funded by the state, with participants required to contribute just 10% of the fee.

Alan Wall, CEO of the HEA said: “As Springboard+ reaches its 10th year, we celebrate our 75,000 learners who have upskilled or reskilled to improve their career opportunities or who have simply taken their first steps towards re-entering the workforce after some time away.”

Candidates who wish to participate in Springboard+ 2021 or HCI Pillar 1 courses will find full details on the approved courses on the dedicated information and applications website http://www.springboardcourses.ie

A helpline for applicants will is available on 1800 303523.